The violent protests condemning the arrest of Pattali Makkal Katchi founder Ramadoss witnessed incidents of miscreants setting fire to a Public Distribution System (PDS) outlet in Dharmapuri and also to Anthiyur MLA’s office and pelting of stones in buses in three districts of western Tamil Nadu.

Unidentified miscreants torched a PDS outlet in Dharmapuri town in the early hours on Sunday. Police sources said that the shop in Annasagaram area with the municipality limit was torched by the miscreants and 3,665 gunny bags were gutted in fire.

The fire was doused by personnel from the Fire and Rescue Services. Timely alert from the public helped in saving commodities such as kerosene and rice from the fury of fire. No one had been arrested, police said. Dharmapuri town police have registered a case and are investigating.

Five buses were damaged in stone pelting in Dharmapuri town since Saturday night. Police took 17 persons into preventive custody across the district.

Meanwhile, black flags were hoisted atop the houses of intermediary castes in over 10 villages including Naikkankottai, Elagiri, Samichettipatti, Palayampudur, Chengalmedu, Thengaimarathupatti and three villages around Harur.

In the meantime, town buses were off the roads after sunset in rural pockets in the Coimbatore district continuously for the sixth day. Because of this, the villagers were fleeced by the share autos.

The TNSTC buses from and to Chennai and other long distances were off the road for the past five days after sunset from important towns such as Dharmapuri, Hogenakkal, Pennagaram, Harur, Krishnagiri, Hosur, and so on. This caused hardship to the people, especially migrant employees and workers, as they found it difficult to reach their villages after working hours.

TNSTC buses from Hosur to Salem and between Tiruchi and Coimbatore were operated with police protection after sunset.

Krishnagiri Superintendent of Police S.R. Senthil Kumar said that the situation in Krishnagiri was normal since Saturday night. However, preventive arrests continued by the police across the district.

TNSTC authorities would be given instructions to operate buses to and from Chennai on the National Highways, he adds. When contacted, TNSTC officials claimed that they were operating four to five fleets to Chennai, Tiruvannamalai and other destinations after the police authorities confirmed security late in the night from Hosur and other towns in Krishnagiri district.

Furniture in the office of Anthiyur MLA S.S. Ramanidharan at Annamuduvu in Erode district was destroyed in fire. Police suspect that Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) cadre could have poured some inflammable material inside the office building and set it on fire to condemn the arrest of their party leaders over the last few days. Superintendent of Police R. Ponni visited the spot and has formed special teams.

The Dharapuram police arrested four PMK activists on the charges that they were planning to cause damage to public properties, sources added.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National