Protesters ransack Tasmac outlet in Coimbatore

Tasmac District Manager for Coimbatore North V. Saradha Rukmani having a look at the remains of the damaged liquor bottles outside the outlet on Mettupalayam Road in Coimbatore on Monday. —Photo: M. Periasamy  

A group of persons, seeking closure of Tasmac liquor outlets, ransacked an outlet near the government bus stand on the Mettupalayam Road in Coimbatore on Monday evening. It is learnt that more than 1,000 bottles from the outlet were thrown on the road and set ablaze.

Enquiries revealed that the incident was organised by the members of ‘Makkal Athigaram’ — a new organisation that has sought closure of all Tasmac outlets across the State by August 31. After the incident, the protesters raised slogans against Tasmac till they were picked up by the police.

District Manager of Tasmac (Coimbatore North) V. Saradha Rukmani told The Hindu that around 5.40pm a group of 10 persons came to the shop under the pretext of buying liquor. They asked the salesman Kasinathan (40) to open the closed metal mesh door and threatened to set the shop ablaze.

“The salesman tried to bring down the shutters but the gang managed to get into the shop. They threw several cases of liquor on the road and set them on fire,” she said. People in the bar attached to the liquor outlet, however, put out the flames.

Tasmac personnel were taking stock of the liquor in the shop to calculate the value of damage caused by the attack. Ms. Saradha Rukmani said that shortly before the incident, she had sent letters to the City Police Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, Coimbatore District, and Deputy Commissioner (Excise) seeking protection for Tasmac outlets in the district — on account of the bandh call by various political parties and organisation across Tamil Nadu on Tuesday seeking total prohibition.

Saibaba Colony police confirmed that they had picked up nine persons for questioning in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile, members of Desiya Murpoku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) were removed by the police for staging demonstrations near Tasmac outlets at Kuniyamuthur and Pollachi, on Monday, seeking total prohibition.

At Pollachi, 23 persons led by MLA Dinakaran, staged a protest at Perumal Chetty Street behind the New Bus Stand where four Tasmac outlets are located on a row. At Kuniyamuthur, 39 persons including four women tried to gherao a Tasmac outlet near Manal Market at Edayarpalayam.

On Sunday night, P. Balraj (40) of Pattanampudur climbed halfway up a mobile phone tower seeking total prohibition. It is learnt that members of the public and police convinced him to give up the protest and him off with a warning.

Security strengthened

Superintendent of Police M. Sudhakar said that the police have been put on high alert and patrolling has been intensified across the district to prevent attack on Tasmac outlets. Close to 900 police and armed reserve personnel and Home Guards personnel would be deployed for the security arrangements. He said that criminal case will be registered against mischief mongers under penal provisions of the law.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 7:28:13 PM |

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