A DMK MLA was on Sunday arrested for allegedly opening fire during a clash with a realtor over a land dispute near here, while ruling AIADMK blamed the main opposition party for "gun culture."
Besides MLA L Idhayavarman, property developer G Kumar and three others who had allegedly assisted the legislator have been arrested, a senior police official said.
Police said three cases have been registered under various sections of the IPC and the Arms Act.
One was based on a complaint by R Lakshmipathi, father of the MLA against Kumar, another following a plaint by G Kumar against Idhayavarman and 12 others and one more based on a plea by G Srinivasan, who allegedly sustained an injury when the legislator opened fire.
Senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, reacting to the MLA's arrest, alleged that the incident showed that the DMK has gone towards gun culture.
"... Tiruporur MLA Idhayavarman and his father using guns only shows that the DMK has gone towards gun culture," he alleged.
When asked, a police official said there was no specific allegation that the MLA's father used a firearm and the case was being probed.
The Minister said such incidents happened when the DMK was not even in power.
Also, he alleged that the unruly behaviour has become the practice of DMK men and the party is "synonymous with a culture of violence."
Recalling past violent incidents allegedly involving DMK men, he said the present clash showed that "in a peak, now, gun culture has surfaced in the DMK."
On the arrest, he said the "law has done its duty... taking law into one's own hands is not acceptable." He also said the MLA's pistol was "unlicensed."
Trouble started on Saturday, after Kumar allegedly tried to level a "public land" so as to provide access to a parcel of his land at Sengadu village off Tiruporur near here.
However, several villagers, the legislator representing Tiruporur, a suburb near here and his father Lakshmipathy opposed the move since the land in question was public in nature that abutted a temple.
"It was essentially a civil dispute and an enquiry by the RDO (Revenue Divisional Officer) was pending for quite sometime," the official said.
Arguments led to a violent clash between a group of people led by the MLA and another by Kumar, who allegedly had "hired about 50 goons for his protection."
In the melee, Idhayavarman had allegedly opened fire and a single barrel gun and a pistol used during the clash were later seized, he said adding though the MLA said that these were licensed firearms, the "licence period has expired."
Also, a bullet allegedly fired by the MLA grazed through a bystander, Srinivasan causing injury to him and a car on the spot too had "bullet marks," on the bonnet and windscreen.
The clash resulted in injuries to people from both groups and a number of two-wheelers were also set on fire leading to anxiety and tension briefly.
To a question, the official told PTI that people from MLA's side have alleged that Kumar's group too had used firearms against them, which was being probed.
Before starting the land levelling work, the realtor had submitted a petition to the police alleging that the MLA had drained water into his land by creating a trench, without obtaining his permission.
Clashes erupted despite a police advising both sides to maintain peace, he said.