Leaders of various political parties and organisations garland Muthuramalinga Thevar statue

MADURAI: Processions taken out by different factions of the All India Forward Bloc and other groups on the occasion of the birth centenary of Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar passed off peacefully amid tight security here on Tuesday.

Separate routes with different timings were allotted for individual groups to take out procession. Vehicles proceeding towards Albert Victor Bridge, Alagarkoil Road and North Veli Street were diverted to prevent traffic snarl.

Many educational institutions had declared a holiday. Business establishments, especially those on the Alagarkoil Road stretch between Telegraph Office and Thevar Statue, remained closed in the evening.

‘Mulaippari,’ ‘abishekam’

Women dressed in yellow sari carried ‘mulaippari’ (sprouts) on their heads and paid respects to their leader while ardent followers of Muthuramalinga Thevar performed milk ‘abishekam’ on his statue at Goripalayam.

A huge posse of policemen was seen guarding the place to prevent any untoward incident.

Earlier, leaders of various political parties and caste outfits garlanded the statue. Those who paid homage included Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi; Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation G.K. Vasan; State Ministers, Arcot N. Veerasamy, Durai Murugan, I. Periasamy, K. Ponmudi, Parithi Ellamvazhuthi, K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran, Thangam Thennarasu, Suba. Thangavelan and A. Tamilarasi; MLAs, S.S. Ghouse Basha, P. Moorthy; member of Backward Classes Commission V. Velusamy; and Collector S.S. Jawahar.

Senior leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party, Ravishankar Prasad, L. Ganesan, Pon. Radhakrishnan, H. Raja and S. Thirunavukkarasar; Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko; Tamil Nadu Janata Dal State general secretary K. John Moses; and members of different factions of All India Forward Bloc also garlanded the statue.