Ban on volunteers travelling in hired vehicles, two-wheelers to memorial

The communally sensitive district has been brought under a massive security cover to prevent any untoward incident during Thevar Jayanthi — the 106th birth anniversary and 51st Guru Pooja of Muthuramalinga Thevar at Pasumpon — on Wednesday.

As the celebrations were marred by violent incidents last year, resulting in the murder of three people, the district administration had clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC and banned volunteers from travelling in all types of hired vehicles and two wheelers to the memorial. Besides deploying about 5,000 personnel and a dog squad, the police had pressed into service Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Paramotoring to aerially scan the sensitive areas and a combination of hi-tech devices to ensure that the event passed off peacefully.

Volunteers visiting the memorial should come in their own vehicles after obtaining prior permission from the respective police stations. The district administration had listed out the ‘dos and don’ts for them while travelling and specified entry and exit routes for people coming from other districts. There would be 19 permitted and 16 prohibited routes in the district.

Villagers from Apanur and Kadaladi on Tuesday insisted on going on a padayatra to pay homage at the memorial in violation of the prohibitory orders. The police, however, declined permission and ensured that they travelled in State corporation buses to reach the memorial. “There were some intense moments in the morning as some villagers wanted to take out a procession but we tackled the issue,” Superintendent of Police N.M. Mylvahanan told The Hindu.

The SP, who had been criss-crossing the district overseeing the security arrangements, said the district had been divided into ten sectors and seven SPs drawn from other districts would be in charge of the sectors.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police M.C. Sarangan (Technical) would be in the control room, monitoring images sent by UAV, Paramotoring pilot, webcasting in patrolling vehicles in sensitive areas and wireless cameras at the memorial site. While DIG M.T. Ganesamoorthy (Coimbatore) would take control of the memorial site, DIGs A. Amalraj (Tiruchi) and Sumit Sharan (Tirunelveli) would control the remaining sectors in the district, police sources said. DIG Anand Kumar Somani (Madurai) would have an overall control.

Minister for Housing and Urban Development R. Vaithilingam, Minister for Cooperation Sellur K.Raju and Minister for Food R. Kamaraj would visit the memorial.

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