‘Gandhian’ late Sasi Perumal was known only as S. K. Perumal in his initial days. He remained a Congress sympathiser for long. He was organising various programmes to create awareness among the local people on ill-effects of liquor and other social issues. Once Sasi Perumal invited actor late Sasikumar, a Congress supporter and close associate of Sivaji Ganesan, for a campaign in the village. A week after participating in the campaign, Sasikumar passed away while attempting to save his wife, who accidentally met with a fire accident while cooking food in house. His wife also died. This shocked Sasi Perumal to the core. Since then, as a mark of respect to the actor, he added ‘Sasi’ to his name to become Sasi Perumal.
The Police Department in Erode district that grabs every opportunity to drive home the ill-effects of alcoholism, found itself in an odd predicament last week, having to ensure safety of IMFL outlets during the day and checking drunken driving during the night. The necessity to guard the IMFL outlets to prevent damage to Government property was quite understandable, but the rather harsh treatment of protesters demanding total prohibition left onlookers puzzled. The protestors consisting of members of DYFI, SFI and AIDWA did raise slogans demanding total prohibition during their protest at Moolapalayam in Erode last week and advanced towards a Tasmac outlet to down shutters. Apparently, things did not go out of control, as the number of protestors was small. But the police who far outnumbered them appeared keen to look for the slightest provocation to use force. Rough handling of women protesters, in particular, did dent the image of the police.
(Reporting by Syed Muthahar Saqaf in Salem and R. Krishnamoorthy in Erode)