Jallikattu protests in Chennai have taken an ugly turn after reports of violence were reported from Chennai and elsewhere in Tamil Nadu on Monday.
According to Times of India, around 50 protesters set Ice House police station on fire. 15 bikes parked in front of the police station were also set ablaze. At least 22 police personnel were believed have sustained injuries.
Near Marina Beach, the epicentre of pro-Jallikattu protests, people staging agitation clashed with cops in front of Parthasarathy Temple arch. Faced with attack of burning tyres by the protesters, the cops lobbed teargas shells.
There are also reports of petrol bombs being hurled in Presidency College.
Police blamed the ‘anti-national elements within the group of protesters for the violence adding that students who had assembled at the beach last week were peaceful.
Earlier on Monday, in a crackdown, police started evicting scores of pro-jallikattu demonstrators from protest venues across the state, especially from the Marina Beach, epicentre of the stir for the past one week, amid reports of stone-pelting and lathicharge at a few places.
At the Marina, the police action began early in the morning with roads to the beach being cordoned off and police personnel being deployed in large numbers.
Some protesters lined up at the seashore forming a human chain and a group entered the water refusing to heed police requests to disperse.
Some others staged a sit-in on the sands while others regrouped in nearby areas, shouting slogans and allegedly throwing stones on policemen.
Police burst teargas shells and reportedly lathicharged to chase away a section of protesters who had regrouped at Triplicane near Marina beach and allegedly started throwing stones at police personnel.
The protesters had been demonstrating for the past one week demanding lifting of the ban on jallikattu.
Despite promulgation of an ordinance on Saturday for conducting the bull-taming sport, they had vowed to carry on with their protest till a permanent solution was found to ensure that the sport is held annually without any hindrance.
TV visuals showed men and women in khaki physically removing protesters from the beach.
At Coimbatore, police forcibly evicted the protesters from VOC Park Grounds here where they were agitating for the last six days.
As the appeal made by senior officials to clear the grounds failed, police in large numbers started to bodily lift the protestors and shift them out of the venue.
Women police personnel were seen taking women agitators, some elderly and some with babies in their arms, out of the grounds, despite them appealing with folded hands not to disturb the peaceful agitation.
Even as some protestors were seen leaving the venue voluntarily, police removed nearly 300 protesters from there, police said.
Protesting against the police action, some youths formed a human chain on the main Avanashi chain and police made a ‘mild’ cane charge to disperse them, police said.
A section of protestors were raising slogans in support of their demand for a permanent act for conducting jallikkatu and against PETA and police, near the Central Jail, some 200 metres from the venue, prompting the police to take into custody nearly 300 people, they said.
Police said they had cleared the ground, venue for the Republic Day function, and it is under control of the district administration and police.
Protests are reportedly continuing in Madurai with demonstrators allegedly throwing stones at police in Alanganallur even as officials are trying to persuade the agitators to disperse.
(With agency inputs)