Special Correspondent

VILLUPURAM: Amid controversy and protests, Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy and Chairman of the Construction Workers’ Welfare Board Ponkumar paid homage at the memorial of the Vanniyars who sacrificed their lives for getting reservation for the community, at the Koliyanur intersection near here on Tuesday.

They did so under the banner of the Vanniyar Koottamaippu.

However, Pattali Makkal Katchi MLAs V.A.T. Kalivaradhan and Senthamil Selvan and more than 100 party cadres and members of the Vanniyar Sangham who gathered there protested, saying that the Vanniyar Koottamaippu had no locus standi to pay homage at the memorial.

When tension mounted in the area, the police intervened and detained the PMK cadres and Vanniyar Sangham members, including the two MLAs.

Later, 500 members of the Vanniyar Koottamaippu, including 100 women, paid floral tributes at the memorial and also conducted a public meeting.