Jayalalithaa commented on the volatile situation in the state and called it "highly condemnable" and added, "The protesters indulged in largescale violence and torched police vehicles. Police opened fire in self defence and to protect public property as they threw petrol bombs."
The protests erupted when prominent Dalit leader John Pandian was detained in Vallanadu in Tuticorin district. He was on his way to Paramakudi to pay his respects to another Dalit leader, Imanuel Sekar on the occasion of his death anniversary.
The incident slowly catapulted to violence after the police could not disperse the mob using tear gas and lathi charge. Four of the deceased have been identified as Jayapal, Panneerselvam, Manickam and Ganesan. More than 50 others have been injured as well. The mob set ablaze 15 vehicles including a police vehicle.
Prohibitory orders like Section 144 CrPC have been slammed in the Ramanathapuram district area. Among those injured also include DIG Sandeep Mittal, Superintendent of Police Senthil Velan and DSP Ganesan. They were later taken to the Government Hospital for medical attention.