An argument over the quality of kulfi and the quantity of nuts in it led to a customer biting off the ear of a vendor late on Friday night. The victim has been admitted to a hospital and is scheduled to undergo plastic surgery to fix his damaged ear while his assailant is cooling his heels behind bars.

Sources with the Ayanavaram police identified the victim as Vimalesh Raj Kumar (18) from Uttar Pradesh, who arrived in Chennai a few years ago, and makes a living by selling kulfis on his tricycle. He lives in Vino Balaji Nagar in GKM Colony, Peravallur.

Around 11.45 p.m. on Friday, Vimalesh was doing business on Portuguese Road and waiting at a spot there for his friend and fellow vendor Amit (18). “Three men approached Vimalesh and one man, who was drunk, demanded kulfi, which the vendor gave. When he asked for Rs. 20 as payment, the customer claimed it was not tasty and lacked the necessary ingredients,” said an officer.

The enraged customer, later identified as G .Dinesh (25), an autorickshaw driver and a resident of Narayanan Street in Ayanavaram, attacked Vimalesh even as his friends tried to stop him. He pinned down Vimalesh and bit off the top of his left ear.

Vimalesh got himself admitted to the Government Kilpauk hospital early on Saturday and later, lodged a police complaint,” the officer added. He was transferred to Government Stanley hospital for surgery.

An Ayanavaram police team arrested Dinesh within hours. He was remanded in custody.

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