Police suspect that persons attached to Adi Tamilar Peravai could have torched it

Police chased away protestors belonging to the Adi Tamilar Peravai (ATP), who pelted stones on them at the demonstration held in front of the Collectorate in Namakkal on Monday.

Protestors led by ATP founder president R. Adhiyaman blocked vehicles on the busy Tiruchengode Road in front of the Collectorate, seeking CB-CID inquiry into the death of V. Gayathri (19), who was found hanging in her college hostel in Tiruchengode earlier this month.

About 800 people, including relatives of the girl and party cadre, staged a demonstration for which they had not obtained police permission.

Namakkal Deputy Superintendent of Police P. Annamalai tried to pacify the crowd, but in vain. Vehicle movement came to a standstill following the protest.

The demonstrators fled the spot after police arrested Adhiyaman and a few others. Police arrested 322 people, including 17 women. They were taken to a marriage hall at Nallipalayam. They were later released.

Meanwhile, a government bus attached to Kumbakonam Division that was parked for repair at Ayyampalayam, near the Collectorate, was torched by miscreants, who reportedly threw a petrol bomb into it.

Fire service personnel put out the fire, but by then half the bus was damaged.

The incident took place a couple of hours after the arrests. While no direct link between the arrests and the fire incident could be established, police suspect that persons attached to ATP could have torched it.

A few youth attached to ATP were picked up for preliminary investigation. Salem Range Deputy Inspector General of Police Sanjay Kumar, Namakkal Superintendent of Police P. Kannammal, and Namakkal Regional Transport Officer R. Rajinikanth visited the spot.