Tamil Nadu tense after Jaya's conviction; protestors turn violent

27 September 2014

Violence broke out in several parts of Tamil Nadu on Saturday after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was convicted in a graft case, with supporters of her party pelting stones, burning buses and jeeps and forcing shops to down shutters.

Protesters burnt effigies of M Karunanidhi, president of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and his sons MK Stalin and MK Alagiri, and tore party posters in various places.

Chennai bore the brunt of the massive protests with buses and jeeps being burnt in the city early in the day and the AIADMK party office in Chennai wore a deserted look.

Sources said shops in Egmore pulled their shutters down as unofficial warnings were issued by police that there might be trouble. Media reports also claimed that at least 70 per cent of shops have shut down in Mylapore. Almost all shops have closed around AIADMK headquarters, stated a report.

Protesters are also reported to have pelted stones at the residence of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, who, as leader of the Janata Party in 1996 had filed the disproportionate assets case in which she was convicted on Thursday.

DMK and AIADMK supporters are reported to have clashed at Gopalapuram in Chennai while Jayalalithaa supporters burnt effigies of DMK leaders in Poes Garden area.

Stone pelting incidents were reported in Ambattur near Chennai, Edapadi in Salem district, Cuddalore and in Jayalalithaa's assembly constituency Srirangam, police said.

AIADMK supporters also set a bus belonging to the state transport corporation on fire at Veppur village while some 20 buses were damaged in stone-pelting in Cuddalore district, police said.

In Madurai, protesters damaged two-wheelers parked alongside roads, blocked traffic and forced shops and business establishments to close, they said.

Police said some shops were ransacked and stones pelted in Tiruchirapalli and Dindigul.

Security personnel in large numbers have been posted to maintain law and order, police said.

Jayalalithaa, 66, was convicted by Special Judge John Michael D'Cunha of a Bangalore court of owning assets worth Rs66.65 crore, a value disproportionate to her known sources of income during 1991-96, when she was chief minister for the first time.

The Supreme Court had transferred the case to a Karnataka court in 2003 on a petition filed by a DMK leader, who had expressed doubts over the conduct of a fair trial in Chennai with Jayalalithaa as chief minister.


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