Protesters put up stiff resistance in Coimbatore

Updated - January 24, 2017 07:14 am IST

Published - January 24, 2017 01:21 am IST - COIMBATORE:

Across the western region, Coimbatore accounted for the maximum number of violent responses against police attempts to remove pro-jallikattu protesters on Monday.

A police official and a constable were injured in stone throwing, while 10 protesters were injured when police used force to disperse them.

While Erode reported damage to vehicles in stone throwing, including one carrying soft drinks manufactured by a multi-national company, Salem and the Nilgiris saw a peaceful end to the protest. Tirupur went through some tense moments, but the police quickly prevented anything untoward.

Violence erupted at around 10 places in Coimbatore city, after police resorted to lathi charging to disperse the protesters. Police removed 850 protesters, including 70 women, and kept them at marriage halls. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation sources said 10 buses were damaged in stone throwing.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) S. Lakshmi and a constable with the Armed Reserve were injured in separate incidents of stone throwing.

It all began in the morning at VOC Grounds, the main protest venue, when police took into custody 50 people. Police used mild force and removed 20 more students when they resisted the police move on Avinashi Road.

As the news of police action spread, students and other protesters staged a road blockade on Avinashi Road in front of Coimbatore Institute of Technology. As this blocked traffic, police resorted to lathi charging to disperse them. The stone-throwing that followed injured the Armed Reserve policeman.

More than 180 youths, including students, were taken into custody from the spot.

Tension gripped Gandhipuram, the commercial hub of the city, for more than two hours as a group of protesters assembled and the police used force to clear them.

Things were under the control of the police till when a group of around 70 people led by leaders of CPI, CPI(M) and SFI staged a sit in at Gandhipuram around 2.40 p.m..

In Tirupur, 554 protestors were removed by the police as they gathered to agitate. In Erode, protesters were chased away by police near the bus stand when they tried to block buses.

In Salem, the police managed to persuade the students to leave the protest venue and hence there was no untoward incident.

(with inputs from Karthik Madhavan in Coimbatore, R. Vimal Kumar in Tirupur, Syed Muthahar Saqaf in Salem, and R. Krishnamoorthy in Erode)


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