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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Petrol bombs hurled at 2 city post offices over CHOGM row

Petrol bomb attacks as Khurshid confirms Sri Lanka meet

Petrol bombs were hurled at two post offices in the city on Monday night by members of the Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK), who were apparently agitated over External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid’s statement confirming his participation in the forthcoming Commonwealth meet in Sri Lanka.
Since the Department of Posts is run by the Union government, four members of the outfit attacked the post offices around 12.20 am.
While there were multiple versions on the number of crude bombs hurled, a source pegged the figure at 15. Be that as it may, there was little damage to property except for a franking machine at the Mylapore head office on Kutchery Road. Most of the Molotov cocktails hit the outer walls of the offices resulting in fire.
A police constable posted in the Mylapore office premises immediately alerted the fire and rescue department, which doused the fire. A few minutes later, the same group of activists hurled petrol bombs at the Mandaveli post office on RK Mutt Road, triggering a fire inside the compound. It was immediately put out.
Within a few hours after the attack, the city police arrested Umapathy, Chennai city secretary of DVK. Later in the day, three other members of the organisation - Ravanan, Manoharan and Mari - surrendered before the police.
While the trio confessed to have carried out petrol bomb attacks, a party functionary claimed Umapathy had no knowledge of it. “As an organisation we do not support such violent form of protests. The cadre had carried out the attack arbitrarily as they became emotional over Salman Khurshid’s statement.  The police arrested the wrong person, since Umapathy was sleeping at home when the incident occurred,” said Thabasi Kumaran, secretary (headquarters) of the DVK.
For their part, the police said they went by the Closed Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) footage to identify the culprits. “According to our investigation, they hurled seven bombs in all. All the four have been booked under the Public Property Damage Act, Explosive Substances Act and under two sections of IPC,” said a senior police officer.
The attack had little impact on the functioning of the two post offices as they opened at 10 am as usual and customers started trickling in.
 Security was beefed up in Central government offices in the city following the incident.

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