A bike rally taken out by workers of the BJP, Hindu Munnani and pro-Hindu organisations as part of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s campaign for the BJP’s Coimbatore South candidate, Vanathi Srinivasan, turned violent on Wednesday.
The city police said the rally was held without permission.
The rally turned disorderly while passing through Town Hall and Big Bazaar Street. Some participants allegedly demanded that Muslim shopkeepers pull down their shutters. During the ruckus in front of a shop on Big Bazaar Street, a man threw a stone at the shop, allegedly after its owner refused to close it. A video of the ruckus was widely circulated on social media.
Naam Tamilar Katchi candidate Abdul Wahab petitioned the District Election Officer-cum-Collector that Hindu Munnani and BJP workers had created nuisance in front of the Athar Jamaath Mosque. He said they asked Muslims to go to Pakistan. They also forced Muslim shop-owners on Raja Street and Big Bazaar Street to pull down their shutters since morning, the petition said.
The Anti-Fascist Organisation, Coimbatore, lodged a complaint with the Collector. The Ukkadam police registered a case late on Wednesday. Police sources said the delay in registering a case was due to the confusion over jurisdiction.
The Peelamedu police registered a case against BJP district president R. Nandakumar and several Hindu Munnani functionaries for organising a two-wheeler rally from Nava India to the airport on Avinashi Road, hindering the flow of traffic and without adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocol.
A release said Mr. Nandakumar and Hindu Munnani State secretary Kishore, district president Dhasarathan and members Guna, Sathishkumar and Sowmi Narayanan organised the rally causing hindrance to the traffic and without adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocol. Further investigations are on.