There was tension in front of the Jamia Masjid near Salem Old Bus Stand and Bazaar Street on Friday as cadres attached to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its ally Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) were involved in a clash with the Desiya Murpoku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) cadre. This affected movement of vehicles for about half-an-hour in the afternoon.
It began with DMK candidate S. Uma Rani and DMDK candidate L.K. Sudheesh canvassing for their respective parties in front of the mosque. Accompanied by his party cadre, the DMDK candidate arrived at the spot about five minutes before the DMK candidate. He greeted the people who were leaving the mosque and sought their votes. There were tense moments when the DMK candidate arrived along with the party workers. Both the candidates stood on either side of the mosque’s entrance and sought votes. Cadres of both sides raised their voice seeking votes and distributing pamphlets.
After about 10 minutes, the candidates greeted each other and were about to leave.
“Things were fine till a cadre attached to the opposite party tried to attack me with a party flag that was tied to a plastic pipe. DMK Salem City treasurer S.R. Anwar was attacked when he tried to stop the attacker. This was the reason behind the incident. It was not the fault of the entire party, the DMDK,” Ms. Uma Rani told The Hindu.
Both the parties preferred not to file a police complaint.
Things seemed to be going out of control, when some persons leaving the mosque blocked Mr. Sudheesh’s car and raised slogans condemning the DMDK’s alliance with the BJP.
Earlier, the DMDK candidate’s campaign at Kootai Meltheru Masjid also attracted opposition.
The Salem Town Police pacified the cadre and brought the situation under control.