Tension prevailed for a while on T.T.K Road on Monday evening as an attempt by activists of the Hindu Munani to set fire to an effigy led to the flames spreading to an autorickshaw which was carrying it.
Police said the activists, led by Kanchi Krishnan, gathered at 4 p.m. on TTK Road near the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in protest against the alleged demolition of a temple in Trincomalee. Meanwhile, an autorickshaw carrying the effigy, suspected to be of Mahinda Rajapaksa, arrived at the spot. Spotting a posse of policemen near the Deputy High Commission, an activist in the vehicle set the effigy on fire in an attempt to throw it in front of the policemen. However, the flames engulfed the autorickshaw and within minutes, the vehicle was destroyed.
The activist, later identified as Velu, and the driver of the vehicle, Narayanan, suffered minor burns, sources said.
Teynampet police arrested 16 protestors. Traffic on TTK Road and adjoining roads was disrupted for nearly an hour.