Tamil Secessionists’ attack on Army Convoy – Beginning of Anarchy

via B R Haran published on May 6, 2009

In a shocking incident, several hundred hooligans belonging to Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK) attacked an Army convoy, which was returning from Hyderabad, on the Nilambur Bypass Road near Coimbatore on Saturday (2nd May) evening. Around 300 army personnel were returning from Hyderabad, after completing a three-month training camp, to their Head Quarters at Madukkarai in Coimbatore via Salem.


Early in the morning when the convoy of more than fifty trucks was passing through Salem, the MDMK and PDK cadres along with goons of Tamil-Chuvinist and pro-LTTE outfits like ‘Tamil Desiya Iyakkam’ and ‘Thamizhaga Ilaignar Iyakkam’, attempted to block the bypass, charging that tanks, weapons, arms and ammunition were being transported to Sri Lanka to aid the Sri Lankan army in its war against the LTTE. Only the timely intervention of the Salem police thwarted their attempt to attack the convoy; the police convinced the PDK and MDMK hooligans that the army personnel were returning only with their personal belongings after completing training in Hyderabad.


The unruly mob then spread the word about the traveling army convoy to their cadre in Coimbatore who now lay in wait for the convoy to reach Coimbatore. In this well-planned plot to attack the army, hundreds of cadres belonging to these parties assembled on the Nilambur bypass road pretending to stage a demonstration. The media, with prior information about the impending clash, gathered to cover the so-called protest demonstration, but did not bother to caution the police.


Despite an alert message from the Salem police, the Coimbatore police were not prepared adequately to deal with what followed. The first five trucks were stopped, attacked, tyres deflated, all things like bedrolls, trunk boxes, tents and clothing were pulled out of the trucks, thrown on the ground and set on fire in wanton destruction. One driver was grievously assaulted. The army personnel ran away to inform the trucks following behind. Other army personnel, who came rushing after hearing about the attack, took safe custody of the weapons, according per eye-witnesses. The witnesses reported retaliation in defense by the army personnel.


Senior police officers arrived with the Rapid Action Force and Armed Reserve Police to control the situation and pacify the army personnel. Some media persons and civilians were allegedly hurt in the melee. Coimbatore police arrested eighteen cadres belonging to MDMK, PDK and PUCL and registered cases against them, under Sections 147 (unlawful assembly), 148 (unlawful assembly with deadly weapons), 324 (causing grievous hurt) and 294 (b) (using obscene language) of IPC. Members of various media oragnisations conducted a demonstration accusing the army personnel for allegedly attacking some of them. They demanded that the case be investigated by the local police and not referred to the Army authorities. Hence police registered cases against twenty army personnel as well. Clearly, as in the case of the TN lawyers’ attack against the police, a section of the media is allied with the Tamil secessionists and has positioned itself against our men in uniform – the army and the police.

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