Thanjavur: Shops and commercial establishments remained closed in Kumbakonam town, Thirubuvanam and Thiruvidaimaruthur in Thanjavur district on Tuesday, to condemn the death of former PMK functionary V Ramalingam, who was murdered by a gang on February 5 night.
Police arrested 140 protesters, including seven women as they attempted to take out a rally in Kumbakonam on Tuesday morning. Though Ramalingam used to be PMK’s Thirubuvanam urban secretary for many years, there was no representation from that party in any of the protests, police sources said.
Condemning the incident, BJP national secretary H Raja had announced a full shut down and rally in Kumbakonam and Thirubuvanam on Tuesday. To avert any untoward incident, police along with revenue officials convened a peach talk with functionaries of the BJP, Hindu Munnani and other Hindu outfits on Monday. As the talks failed, they decided to hold the protest on Tuesday. Recommended By Colombia As many as 7,000 shops and commercial establishments in Kumbakonam town, Thirubuvanam and Thiruvidaimaruthur remained closed the whole day.
The protesters alleged that Ramalingam was killed for opposing religious conversion by the Muslim community members. Meanwhile, a strong posse of police personnel were also deployed at the Gandhi Park in Kumbakonam as permission was denied to hold any rally or protest. However, a section of the protesters led by BJP district president Raja tried to take out a rally from Mahama Kulam towards Gandhi Park.
Police arrested around 140 when they attempted to stage a road roko. Police also arrested the state president of Hindu Makkal Katchi, Arjun Sampath at Chetti Mandapam while he was proceeding towards Kumbakonam to take out a rally. Earlier, he met the family members of Ramalingam and consoled them.
Ramalingam, a native of Keezha Thoondil Vinayagan Pettai area in Thirubuvanam, was hacked to death by an unidentified gang while he was returning home with his elder son at around 11.30pm on February 5. As the incident took place at New Muslim Street in Thirubuvanam, police arrested nine people, all Muslims and hailing from the same locality.