Vanniar reservation: PMK protest turns violenttext_fields
Chennai: Trains were stoned, roads blocked and confrontation with police were reported in several parts of Chennai after the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), an ally of Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK, hit the streets demanding reservation for Vanniars caste.
The PMK wanted to protest in the city pressing their demand for 20 per cent reservation in state government jobs and higher education for Vanniars.
Party cadres from different parts of the state tried to enter the city but were stopped by the police near Perungalathur near here.
The PMK members then parked their vehicles on the highway in a haphazard manner, throwing the traffic out of gear and resulting in long traffic jam.
Some went to the nearby railway station and protested on the tracks and also stoned trains. According to reports, the Ananthapuri Express coming from Thiruvananthapuram was stoned and halted for more than 10 minutes between Vandalur and Tambaram.
The police allowed only important PMK functionaries to enter the city.
Later PMK leader and Rajya Sabha member Anbumani Ramadoss and other senior party leaders met Chief Minister K. Palaniswami at the state secretariat and submitted a memorandum for reservation for the Vanniar caste.
Addressing the media, Ramadoss said reservation is related to the state's development.
"This is not a caste issue. This not against any individual, community, political group or organisation. This is about social justice," he said about the demand for reservation.
However, the leader lost temper when asked about the violence during the protest. He accused media for "portraying his community as violent."
As the protest turned violent, hashtag "BanPMK" was seen trending in Twitter on Tuesday.