Chennai

AIADMK headquarters sealed following violent clash

The police resorted to a lathi-charge to bring the situation under control.

The police resorted to a lathi-charge to bring the situation under control. | Photo Credit: RAGU R

MGR Maaligai, the AIADMK headquarters on Avvai Shanmugam Salai at Royapettah in Chennai, was sealed on Monday, hours after former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam entered the premises with his supporters breaking open the door amid a violent clash with supporters of party leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

The Royapettah Police registered a FIR under provisions including Sections 147 (Rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapons) and 353 (Use of criminal force to deter a public servant from the discharge of his duty) of the IPC.

Revenue Divisional Officer (South) K. Sai Vardhini, who is also the Sub Divisional Magistrate, initiated the ‘attachment’ proceedings under Section 146 of the CrPC (power to attach subject of the dispute). She said that upon perusal of the FIR, photographs and videos produced by the Royapettah Police Inspector, she was satisfied that “there is an imminent possibility of breach of peace, tranquillity and law and order issue”. The headquarters was located in a densely populated residential-cum-commercial area of the central part of Chennai city. “If no concrete action is taken, this dispute will lead to serious threat to law and order,” she said in her proceedings.

Ms. Vardhini, who sealed the premises after ‘evicting’ Mr. Panneerselvam and others from the building, said that in view of “the extraordinary situation, the potentiality of the dispute between these factions which may have wider ramifications across the State”, it was essential on the part of the executive magistrate to preserve the peace. Hence, she was passing the order of attachment.

Both Mr. Panneerselvam and Mr. Palaniswami were intimated of the sealing and asked to approach the competent civil court to obtain necessary orders for removing the seal. The jurisdictional Inspector was directed to provide protection to the “disputed property”. The Tahsildar, Mylapore, has been appointed as receiver of the property, who will act under the direction of the RDO.

Earlier, an hour before the Madras High Court was scheduled to deliver its verdict on his petition challenging the validity of Monday’s AIADMK general council meeting, Mr. Panneerselvam arrived near the party office with his supporters, triggering tension. He was accompanied by legislators R. Vaithilingam and P.H. Manoj Pandian and former MLA J.C.D. Prabhakar.

A clash ensued, with supporters of Mr. Panneerselvam and Mr. Palaniswami engaging in a free-for-all, hurling stones and an assortment of missiles, besides attacking each other with logs. The police resorted to a lathi-charge to control the situation and gave protection to Mr. Panneerselvam’s vehicle to enable it to enter through the main gate.

A few hours later. Mr. Panneerselvam was asked by the RDO to vacate the premises. His supporters were seen taking away documents from the party office and loading them into his campaign van. He later left the party headquarters.

Meanwhile, the police said two private buses and cars parked on the road were damaged during the clash. A person by the name of ‘Pasarai’ Balachandran and 13 others, who had heated arguments with the police and allegedly prevented the police from discharging their duties, were arrested.

The police said 47 persons, including 24 members of “one faction” and 20 members of “another faction”; two police personnel and an individual were injured in the violence. The injured were admitted to hospital.

Following the incidents, adequate protection was given to the party office, the leaders of both factions and their residences, the police said.


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Printable version | Sep 5, 2022 3:31:31 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/aiadmk-headquarterssealed-following-violent-clash/article65627681.ece