Supporters of former Telecom Minister A. Raja stoned two government buses and blocked traffic on the Tiruchi-Chennai National Highway in his native Perambalur district for about two hours on Wednesday evening protesting against his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.
Scores of DMK cadre and members of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi indulged in the road blockade on the national highway, triggering a major traffic snarl. Vehicles formed serpentine queues for a few kilometres on either side. Burnt tyres were flung to the middle of the highway, eyewitnesses said.
Earlier, a group of partymen blocked the road at Thuraimangalam and broke glass panes of buses belonging to the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation. Irate partymen also forced shopkeepers to down shutters and pelted stones at the office of Dinamalar near the New Bus Stand. However, no injury was reported.
The protestors at the national highway reportedly vent their ire at media persons. A slogan-shouting group was said to have roughed up the reporter of Jaya TV and snatched his camera. The photographer of Dinakaran was also not spared, eyewitnesses added. They dispersed on intervention by senior police officials. Bus services were skeletal in the town.
In neighbouring Ariyalur district, partymen brought traffic around the bus stand to a standstill. They raised slogans criticising the Congress party for getting Mr. Raja arrested with ulterior motives and demanded his immediate release. The DMK supporters forced shops to down shutters.
On their part, AIADMK supporters burst crackers to welcome the CBI action. A tense situation prevailed for a while when the supporters of two parties traded charges against each other.