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18 Jan 2019, Edition - 1284, Friday

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Coimbatore

A gradual normalcy returns

Covai Post Network

After a day of unexpected violence, following the murder of the Hindu Munnani leader Sasikumar, the district gradually worked its way to calm with shops and hotels opening for business in the evening under a strong police presence.

Superintendent of Police, R V Ramya Bharathi said that six special police teams have fanned out to various places to nab the culprits.

Shops, hotels and other commercial establishments and 70 per cent of garment factories were closed in nearby Tiruppur, a strong hold of the Hindu organisation.

The day saw persistent violence against commercial establishments, places of worship and even the police. Petrol bombs were hurled at three mosques and a church was stoned, prompting police to provide protection to the city’s places of worship.

Some schools on Mettupalayam Road and Avanashi Road declared holiday.

Over 500 workers laid siege to Big Bazaar Street Police Station, seeking the release of five of their colleagues and blamed police for the failure to nab the killers. However, the situation was brought under control by City Police Commissioner A Amalraj, who went to the spot and assured the release of the workers.

Some in the procession also targeted media persons, even as a few indulged in arson and ransacked a shop enroute the procession, in which more than 3,000 participated, some on two-wheelers.

Even as the funeral procession reached Sasikumar’s residence and later, the crematorium near Thudiyalur, miscreants torched a police jeep, injuring three policemen. They also set fire to four cars, a government bus, two motorcycles and an autorickshaw during the procession, police said. The body of Sasikumar, which bore 11 cuts, was consigned to flames in Thudiyalur crematorium.

Amalraj and district collector T N Hariharan rushed to Thudiyalur, following reports of burning of vehicles. Earlier, a delegation comprising major political parties submitted a memorandum to Hariharan seeking to take steps to restore peace.

With additional police force from nearby Tiruppur, police are keeping tight vigil and gradually bringing the situation under control.

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