A constable was injured after a mob of 200 persons clashed with police who tried to prevent them from breaking barricades put up to restrict movement at a novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) containment zone in a north Chennai locality in Tamil Nadu.
The mob attempted to remove the barricades on Monday night (11 May) as the residents of Netaji Nagar Third Street in Tondiarpet area wanted to distribute rice porridge to break Ramzan fast but found the restrictions affected them.
Times of India reported that the Radha Krishnan Nagar police have filed cases against 35 persons for their involvement in the clash.
This is the second time that a mob from the locality has attacked police. On 28 April, a mob of 300 persons attacked Tamil Nadu Health Department officials and police when attempts were made to sanitise the area after many Covid-19 cases were reported.
The Coronavirus positive cases in the area have been traced to the Tablighi Jamaat Aalami Markaz Nizamuddin congregations at Delhi In March.
At least 20 people have tested positive for the pandemic virus in the street so far.
Tondiarpet has reported 362 Covid-19 positive cases — seventh highest among the 15 zones in Chennai. The total number of Coronavirus cases in Chennai is 4,882, making up 56 per cent of Tamil Nadu’s 8,718.
The daily quoted a police official as saying that curbs on movement would not be relaxed as it was against the nation-wide lockdown protocol. Checks in the area have been intensified.
On 28 April, the mob from the street clashed with the Health Department officials and police opposing the conversion of their street into a containment zone.
At that time, about 15 persons, including two children, had tested positive for the pandemic virus.
The coronavirus positive cases increased as contacts of those affected continued to move freely in the locality.
When police tried to intervene, they were abused by women in the locality. Conciliatory talks were held thereafter with leaders of the area’s Muslim organisations, who said they would not allow the area to be barricaded.
However, they agreed to put up their volunteers to guard the locality.
This led to widespread criticism in the state, with the Bharatiya Janata Party demanding the arrest of those preventing the officials from doing their duty.
Subsequently, the barricades were put and the police began manning it.
M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani
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