TAMIL NADU

Security tightened at Vellore prison

Soft TARGET: A State Transport Corporation bus being attacked in Salem on Tuesday. —

Soft TARGET: A State Transport Corporation bus being attacked in Salem on Tuesday. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

Tamil Nadu Bureau

Prisoners in Cuddalore, Coimbatore observed a symbolic fast

CHENNAI: Security at the Vellore central prison that houses hardcore cadre of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, including a few condemned prisoners in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has been intensified since Monday night.

Soon after television channels showed visuals confirming the death of LTTE chief V.Prabakaran, 300 convicts in the Cuddalore central prison and 76 convicts in the Coimbatore central prison refused to have lunch as a mark of protest, sources in the Prison Department said.

“Security at the Vellore central prison, where about 15 LTTE cadres are lodged in the high security block, has been stepped up. Prisoners in Cuddalore and Coimbatore observed a symbolic fast…later they had dinner,” he told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) T.Rajendran said 25 companies of paramilitary forces had been deployed across the State. Heightened security arrangements would continue.

Stray incidents of violence were reported in different parts of the State since late Monday night.

In Tirunelveli, a petrol bomb was hurled at a telephone exchange of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. It hit the generator room of the exchange located at V.M. Chathram. A couple of petrol bombs were allegedly lobbed on Fast Track Court – I and another landed near the chair of the fourth Judicial Magistrate. The incident took place around 10.30 p.m.

“There has been no clue yet and we are suspecting the handiwork of some miscreants. We have asked the police to visit all coastal hamlets and interact with the village vigilance committees and revenue officials there. This will help in knowing the movement of suspicious persons along the coastline,” Inspector General of Police (in-charge) of South Zone Abash Kumar said.

The official car of a High Court Judge parked in a court complex in Karaikudi (Sivaganga district) was gutted.

Though the car driver has given a complaint that an accidental fire led to the incident, investigators suspect that fake Indian Made Foreign Liquor bottles stored on the court premises were used to set the vehicle on fire. Even before Fire and Rescue Service personnel could reach the spot, the car was destroyed, police sources said.

Prakasam (58) of Cuddalore district, a functionary of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, attempted self-immolation on Monday night. As news of Prabakaran’s death was flashed on satellite channels, Prakasam poured kerosene and set himself ablaze. According to an eye witness, he came out of his house with flames on his body and shouted “Long live Prabakaran.”

While being taken to Cuddalore headquarters Government Hospital he told reporters that as the top leaders of the LTTE and thousands of ethnic Tamils were massacred in Sri Lanka he saw no purpose in living.

At Chidambaram shops and business establishments remained closed for the second day on Tuesday. A few State-owned buses were damaged in stone throwing incidents.

In Chennai, two buses were damaged in stone throwing in the Red Hills area. An attempt was made to burn a bus. By the time police could intervene and put off the fire, some seats were burnt, police sources said.

The police arrested 8 persons, including five Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, in connection with the incident.

Chennai Suburban Police Commissioner S.R.Jangid said police reached the spot within minutes and extinguished the fire with the help of fire service personnel.

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