Chennai: Several shops across Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu remained closed and public transport was partially hit on Friday, following the murder of C. Sasikumar, spokesperson of religious group Hindu Munnani.
Sasikumar was hacked to death on Thursday night around 11pm by unidentified men when he was on his way home in Subramaniampalayam.
On Friday evening around 5pm, when Sasikumar’s body was taken out in a procession, before his cremation, vehicles and shops on the Mettupalayam Road (NH 67) were vandalized by the Hindu Munnani group.
A police vehicle of the Thudiyalur police station was burnt on the NH 67 and three policemen sustained injuries and a bakery was burnt.
Government and private buses are off the roads, a witness from Thudiyalur said.
“An angry mob damaged buses and public properties,” said a resident of Subramaniampalayam, where Sasikumar was murdered.
Officials said more than 500 security personnel were deployed in Coimbatore and additional support was brought in from neighbouring districts.
In a statement, Kadeswara C Subramaniam, the state president of Hindu Munnani, said, “The government should ensure that such incidents should not happen in the future. Or else it will lead to a situation of Tamil Nadu becoming another Gujarat.”
Meanwhile, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has requested the police to ensure the safety of the minorities.
“A group started pelting stones on the shops. So fearing violence, we shut it down today morning,” said a jewellery shop owner in Coimbatore.
Earlier on Friday, Hindu Munnani called for a state-wide bandh to protest against the killing of Sasikumar.
Tamil Nadu director general of police T.K. Rajendran has said, “The situation in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts are under control and we will ensure that the miscreants are immediately arrested.”