Chennai, Aug 19 (UNI) Dalit leader and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thol Thirumavalavan today said inept handling of the situation by the police led to violence and subsequent clash between VCK workers and a minority community at Pudupattinam near Kalpakkam on August 17.
Talking to reporters here along with leaders of various Muslim organisations, he said the reason for the clash, that took place in a hotel and snowballed into violence was due to improper handling of the situation by the police.
''Inability to take on the spot decisions by the policemen present at the scene led to the violence,'' he said and added that he was not blaming the state government for this.
Asserting that there was no history of any confrontation or rift between Muslims and VCK workers, he said had the police diverted the hundreds of vehicles lined up on the ECR road following the violence via another route, the violence could have been averted.
The VCK workers were on their way to the city to attend the public meeting organised by the VCK on the occasion of its Chief's birthday.
''Instead of diverting the traffic, the police deliberately asked the VCK workers to return back, which annoyed them,'' he said and alleged that police had damaged about 50 to 60 vehicles and injured 50 VCK workers.
Describing the violence as unfortunate, regrettable and an isolated one, Mr Thirumavalavan said he and the Muslim leaders would ensure that such incidents did not recur in future.
He also said ''some anti-social elements and forces, which were inimical to Dalits and Muslims, were bent upon trying to create a rift between us by utilising the situation.'' More UNI GV ROY SP RK1336