Staff Reporter

Thiruvazhagu was accused of vandalising Thevar statue

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Tuesday quashed a detention order against P. Thiruvazhagu of Dindigul under the National Security Act (NSA). He was accused of vandalising the statue of Pasumpon Muthuramalingam Thevar at Goripalayam here on April 21 last year.

Allowing a habeas corpus petition filed by the detainee’s brother, a Division Bench, comprising Justice M. Chockalingam and Justice M. Venugopal, said there were no materials to show any possibility of the accused coming out on bail as claimed by Madurai Police Commissioner.

In the detention order dated May 8, 2008, the Commissioner said a complaint was lodged with the Tallakulam police on April 21 claiming that an unidentified person had vandalised the statue.

Immediately, a team of police personnel led by a Sub-Inspector was posted near the statue to prevent any untoward incident. The team arrested Thiruvazhagu the next day when he attempted to vandalise the statue again. A criminal case was registered and he was lodged in the Central Prison here.

“Investigations revealed that he denigrated and vandalised the statue to instigate caste clashes and also induce people with an intention to disrupt public order by causing damage to public and government properties… Hence there is compelling necessity to invoke NSA,” the order read. The Commissioner also said that the incident had led to violence in which window panes of 44 government buses in the city were damaged. Twenty-one cases were registered against the rioters. “Panic prevailed in the city and transport was disrupted completely because of stone throwing.”

The NSA was invoked apprehending that there was a possibility of the accused being enlarged on bail and indulging in activities prejudicial to maintenance of public order. The detainee was earlier booked under Sections 153(A) (b) and 505(ii) of the Indian Penal Code for promoting enmity among different groups.