In the fourth such incident in less than a week, policemen were attacked by a gang in north Chennai.
A sub-inspector and a home guard, who were on routine patrol, were brutally beaten up by a group of three men at the Goods Shed junction near the Vyasarpadi police station.
S. Bhaskaran (55), a special sub-inspector with the Vyasarpadi police, and K. Prabhakaran (23), a home guard, were monitoring the area on a bike around 1 a.m. on Tuesday when the incident occurred. Three men, all of whom were in their 20s, led by S. Bhoopalan (21), a second-year law student and a resident of the area, stopped them at the junction. They were angry over an incident on Saturday when Micheal, the president of Egmore Bar Association, and his associate Ranjit were injured in a scuffle at MKB Nagar police station. The trio began abusing the policemen.
The cops advised the men to return home but the men continued to argue. In the midst of the argument, the men suddenly began assaulting the cops with iron and wooden rods. Prabhakaran managed to flee the spot but Bhaskaran was severely beaten. He sustained injuries on his hands and legs and also lost a tooth. The men also damaged the police bike. “We were only armed with lathis and could not defend ourselves,” said Bhaskaran.
Prabhakaran, who had managed to escape, rushed to Vyasarpadi police station and soon, he and a few other cops returned to the scene to rescue Bhasakaran. With the arrival of more policemen, the trio fled. A hunt is on for the men and a case of attempt to murder under IPC has been filed against them.
A spate of such attacks has worried officials. “It’s increasingly difficult to man crime-prone areas in north Chennai. Police personnel are at the mercy of anti-socials,” said a senior police officer.
On Monday, a police booth in B.V Nagar in Vyasarpadi was torched by unknown persons when the policemen stationed there went for lunch.
On Saturday, the MKB Nagar police station in north Chennai turned into a war zone after a group of advocates went on a rampage and injured four policemen. Two advocates were also injured. Last week, policemen at the Tiruvottiyur police station had to pacify a group of inebriated men who clambered up the walls of the station and insisted on drinking there.
“Certain areas like Mannali, IOC terminus road, Pulianthope, Tondiarpet’s Good Shed area and Madhavaram, are off limits for us, especially at night,” said a beat policeman in Tondiarpet.
Experts believe that lack of deterrence is a major reason for crime among youngsters in these areas.
As per police records, most of the two dozen murders in the north zone of the city since January were committed by persons between the age of 18 years and 30. “A culture of violence has been inherited by youngsters in these areas. They should be encouraged to take up constructive activities such as participating in the functioning of boys’ clubs,” said eminent criminologist, R. Thilagaraj, professor and head of the department of Criminology, University of Madras.