Gang attacks Palavakkam Panchayat chief's house

CHENNAI, NOV. 1. In yet another instance of post-poll violence, politically-backed goons went on a rampage at Palavakkam village Panchayat on Wednesday night, attacking the residences of two winning candidates.

According to a complaint filed by the Palavakkam Village Panchayat president, Mr.K.Somu (who has MDMK affiliation) with the Neelankarai police, a gang of 10 persons allegedly headed by local AIADMK volunteers T.Kannan and S.M.A Meeran attacked his house at around 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Only his wife and two children were present at the time of the attack.

``A gang of around 10 persons arrived at my residence at around 8 p.m. I had just left my house. They immediately started pelting stones and smashing my car. Sensing trouble, my wife and children switched off the lights and bolted the door," said Mr.Somu.

The village panchayat president has retained his seat for the second consecutive term. The composition of the Village Panchayat after the recent polls read: DMK - 4, AIADMK - 4, MDMK - 2 and Independents - 5.

On Wednesday, the local MDMK unit chose to support the DMK-backed candidate, Mr.B.Padmanabhan for the post of Vice-President. Eventually, the AIADMK-backed candidate, Mr. K.Prabhakaran lost by a margin of two votes. This is said to have provoked the attack.

The same gang is also suspected to have ransacked a cable TV shop in the locality, operated by an independent candidate Mr.S.Thomas. They had cut the cable wires, disrupting the service to more than 30 villages in the locality.

"I came to know about the problem only after the attack as I was not at my shop at that time. I still do not understand why I was targetted because I never supported any candidate," said Mr.Thomas.

The Neelankarai police said a hunt is on for the main accused.

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