A mechanised boat that was berthed at Akkaraigori in the Cuddalore Port area here went up in flames in the early hours of Sunday. Another mechanised boat suffered partial damage.
The entire jetty looked empty as fishermen removed their vessels to safety. The police are now guarding the jetty to prevent any further arson or pilferage attempt. A case has been registered.
It is learnt that the incident was a fall out of the murder of Thevanampattinam fisherman P. Mariappan (40), who was also State deputy general secretary of the Meenavar Viduthalai Vengaigal organisation, at Manjakuppam area in the town on Saturday.
Mariappan was killed by a six-member gang when he was returning from Puducherry on a motorcycle. The boat that was set on fire was said to be owned by Saravanan, one of the accused in the murder case.
In connection with the murder, the police arrested nine persons – S. Muthu (38), G. Puliyendran (30), M. Karthik (26), K. Veeramani (39), R. Gnanam alias Gnanasekaran (25), K. Velu (31), D. Thennarasu (26), R. Rajasekaran (29) and B. Udayavanan alias Gundumani (26), all residents of Thevanampattinam. They were remanded to judicial custody.
Police sources said that in 2004, Gnanasekaran's uncle Kamalahasan was done to death at Manjakuppam and yesterday's crime was seen as a revenge killing.