Security up in Ooty

Special Correspondent

Udhagamandalam: This hill station which was gripped by tension on Monday following stones and other missiles like coconuts being thrown on a Vinayaka idol immersion procession, resembled a garrison on Tuesday with police personnel from various parts of the district and neighbouring places swarming all over the town.

The municipal market in the heart of the town which had witnessed violent scenes was surrounded by many police vehicles and a large number of police personnel. An uneasy calm prevails in the town.

Leading the security arrangements are three Superintendents of Police Kapil Kumar C.Saratkar (The Nilgiris), N.Kannan (Coimbatore) and T.Jayachandran (Erode).

While citizens who expressed concern over Monday’s incident told The Hindu that it was an “avoidable tragedy” and opined that the stepping up of security after the incident was akin to bolting the barn after the horses had bolted, police said that it was to prevent untoward incidents.

Meanwhile the call for a bandh given by various Hindu outfits in protest against the stone-throwing incident evoked mixed response here.

While most of the shops were closed in the morning many were opened either fully or partially after police started using a public address system to appeal to the traders to open their shops. Mr.Saratkar regretted that despite adequate precautionary measures the incident had taken place.Based on evidence collected by the police, 33 persons from the two groups had been arrested.

Stating that cases under various sections including rioting and unlawful assembly had been registered against them, he said that some more arrests are likely.

Two police constables and sixteen others were injured in the incident.Prohibitory orders under Section 30 (2) of the Police Act are in force.

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