Thevar's statue desecrated, violence follows

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Madurai, Apr 21 (UNI) Vandalism and riots swept across this district and elsewhere in Southern Districts of Tamil Nadu following the desecration of a statue of Veteran Freedom Fighter and Mukkulathor Community Icon Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar by unidentified miscreants here today.

Police sources said 52 buses, including those belonging to State Transport Corporation and Private Operators besides a number of transport vehicles were damaged in stone -pelting incidents in Madurai District alone.

As many as 205 persons were arrested in connection with violent incidents in the district so far.

Unidentified miscreants defaced the life-size statue of Thevar at Goripalayam in the wee hours.

When the incident came to light this morning, members of various Thevar federations gathered at the site and resorted to ''road roko''.

In Madurai City, police resorted to lathicharge to chase away the agitators when they blocked vehicular traffic near the Thevar Statue in Goripalayam.

Meanwhile, the defaced statue was cleaned with the assistance of Fire Service personnel. Members of Thevar federations performed purification ritual by performing milk and scented water abhishekams to the statue.

According to reports reaching here tonight, several buses were damaged by miscreants in Southern Districts.

A senior police official of South Zone told UNI the police had stepped up security measures in Southern Districts to prevent further untoward incidents. Pickets have been posted in the sensitive parts and patrolling intensified.

UNI GSM PK HT2235

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