Seven police personnel and five Manithaneya Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam cadres sustained injuries when a rail roko organised by the Muslim outfit near Tirunelveli Railway Junction turned violent on Friday.
As many as 257 protestors, including 17 women, have been arrested.
To register their protest against an American movie on Prophet Mohamed, the MMMK planned to block trains at the junction on Friday evening. Sensing trouble, a strong police force led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Tirunelveli City, N. Manivannan and Assistant Commissioner of Police J. Loganathan, had been deployed.
Though the police had put up metal barricades in front of the junction to prevent the protesters from penetrating the security cordon, the agitators pushed aside the barricades and ran towards the first platform. The police chased them away. While fleeing, they threw stones at the police and buses.
As windscreens of seven Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation buses and two private buses were damaged, service within Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai was completely paralysed for nearly two hours, putting the public, especially students returning home from school, into untold hardship. Additional police personnel have been deployed at important junctions across the city and in Melapalayam.