Palani Hills, Tamil Nadu, Dec 1 (UNI) Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse a group of Narikuravas (gypsies) during a ''road roko'' agitation which turned violent at Sukkamanaickanpatti Village on the Palani-Udumalpet Highway late last night.
The violence left six policemen and several gypsies injured. Few vehicles were damaged during the clash between the two sides.
Trouble began when a group of gypsies of a 'Samathuvapuram' (a residential colony where people of all communities and castes lived) at Sukkamanaickanpatti kept the body of a woman on Palani-Udumalpet Road demanding her son Kandava, who was in police custody in a poaching incident, be allowed to take part in the funeral.
Vehicular traffic was paralysed due to the ''road roko''. Senior police officials rushed to the spot and attempted to persuade the agitators.
However, they were adamant following which police resorted to lathicharge to disperse them.
Angry gypsies pelted stones on the police which led to a scuffle. The agitators also stoned some of the stranded vehicles, damaging them. The police arrested 20 people in this connection.
Some of the residents alleged the police raided their village after the agitation and attacked the inmates indiscriminately. The police, however, denied the report.
Police pickets have been posted in and around Sukkamanaickanpatti Village to prevent any untoward incidents.