Mild tension prevailed as Coimbatore rural police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the villagers who blocked the Mettupalayam Road, refusing to receive the bodies of the victims in the house collapse tragedy, on Monday.
The angry villagers were into marathon protests since afternoon. Around 1 pm, they squatted on the road in front of Mettupalayam Government Hospital. After a while, they walked in procession to Banglamedu six corner junction, where they again sat on the road in protest, resulting in a long pile up of vehicles.
A police team, led by Superintendent of Police Sujit Kumar, held talks with the protesters. But, they continued to protest demanding the arrest of the house owner. The police arrested a few persons to quell the protests. However, hundreds of people, joined by members of various political parties, continued with their protest forcing the police to lathicharge them.
District Collector K Rajamani and the police officials were in talks with the representatives of the protesters, but a consensus is yet to be arrived. Traffic was disrupted on the Mettupalayam Road for several hours since morning due to the protests. The police have been deployed in large numbers to prevent any untoward incident in the neighbourhood.