Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.V. Thangkabalu feels that he should have been provided with ‘adequate' police security during his campaigning for the DMK candidate for the Pennagaram polls.
Saying that the attack on him and his cadres on Friday night “definitely looked premeditated”, the Congress leader told The Hindu that he had a ‘providential escape' since his car was equipped with specially-made ‘window panes and exterior' that could withstand any such mob attacks.
“Otherwise I would have been seriously injured,” he said. Strangely the mischievous attack took place at a spot, which did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Pennagaram Assembly segment, he pointed out.
He said the gang was waiting in the dark at the Sogathur Junction Road when the convoy of vehicles including Congress and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) was returning to Pennagaram after attending the election meeting. He said his car became the primary target with the gang resorting to heavy stone pelting. Big stones hit the car and they used wooden logs to batter the sides of the vehicle. They tried to open the doors but could not. “Since the window panes in my car are specially made, the damaged glasses did not give away and spray the glass particles on the occupants thus saving me from suffering multiple cut injuries,” Mr. Thangkabalu said. But others were not that lucky. The gang pelted stones at the first three vehicles, all sporting Congress flags, and after a lull resumed the pelting against the last few vehicles that sported VCK flags. A few vehicles of other alliance parties that came at the centre were spared, he said. “We were specifically targeted and that disturbed me most,” he said. Mr. Thangkabalu claimed that he was entitled for a full security since he was a former Central Minister. At present he was given a PSO only. After the incident, Dharmapuri SP R. Sudhakar met him and expressed ‘regrets' for what had happened. He assured that he would provide adequate security to him during the rest of the campaigning.
Mr. Thangkabalu said Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S Arumugam had telephoned him and enquired about the incident.