The pro-jallikattu protests in Chennai turned violent on Monday with agitators clashing with the police in several parts of the city. Triplicane, a locality near Marina Beach, saw scenes of arson and clashes in the morning as vehicles outside the Ice House Police Station were set on fire. The police baton-charged the agitators, who pelted stones at them in retaliation.
As protestors remained put at Marina Beach for the sixth day on Monday, Nadukuppam, a fishing hamlet close to the beach, bore the brunt of the police action. Speaking to Scroll.in over the phone, two residents of the settlement claimed that the fishermen were provoked by the police officers.
One of them, who requested anonymity fearing police action, said fisherfolk from the hamlet were stopped from going to the beach on Monday morning, despite repeated assurance that they had nothing to do with the protests. “Things took a drastic turn after a policeman slapped a fisherman,” the resident said. Matters escalated quickly, after which officers stormed into the hamlet and the residents reportedly resorted to violence.
The resident claimed that policemen went door-to-door and dragged out many youngsters. Some were allegedly beaten up, as well, and a part of the fish market near the hamlet was damaged in the melee. “We are worried about what would happen to those taken away by the police,” the resident said.
Social activist Nityanand Jayaraman said on Facebook that 10 youngsters were mercilessly beaten up by the police at Nadukuppam. The State Human Rights Commission did not respond to calls from activists.