A 60-year old man was killed on the spot when police resorted to lathicharge to disperse a crowd that gathered near booths 189 and 190 at Sivadapuram, a suburb in Salem West Assembly segment, after the polling was over on Wednesday.

An angry mob, protesting against his death, went on the rampage manhandling Inspector of Kondalampatti police station Y. Sureshkumar and damaging his jeep. Armed security personnel rushed to the spot to rescue the officer. The jeep was damaged.

Senior police officials said the police on duty had repeatedly asked a group, mostly All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) cadres, to move away from that area as election officials had to undertake the mandatory poll works after 5 p.m., the closing time for voting.

Police said they resorted to the use of mild force to disperse the group when it did not relent. In the melee, a “hard object” hit Chinnathambi of Kudimiyan Street, said to be an AIADMK sympathiser, who was standing before his house, which was located near the booths. He died on the spot.

Accusing the Inspector and his team of assaulting Chinnathambi, a 1,000-strong crowd manhandled the police officer.

They smashed the windscreens of his official vehicle and dragged it to the centre of the road. They also blocked the traffic with the body for more than three hours, demanding action against the Inspector. AIADMK's Salem MP S. Semmalai and other AIADMK cadres also joined them. Senior police and revenue officials rushed to the spot and ensured that the polling material and EVMs were transported safely.

Superintedent of Police N. Arivuselvam and other officials held talks with the agitators. Mr. Arivuselvam said the situation was under control and reinforcements were sent to the spot to prevent any further violence.