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Violence in Rameswaram after bus mows down fisherman; 150 booked, 11 arrested

Eleven fishermen were arrested and 150 booked by policemen after violence erupted at Thangachimadam, when a fisherman was fatally knocked down by a TNSTC bus, late on Tuesday night.

Violence in Rameswaram after bus mows down fisherman; 150 booked, 11 arrested
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Ramanthapuram SP Omprakash Meena at the trouble spot in Thangachimadam

Madurai

The incident happened close to midnight when a fisherman Jegan (35) along with his wife, Suganya, and three daughters was crossing the National Highways near Yagappa school at Thangachimadam when a speeding bus from Rameswaram knocked him down. He died on the spot. 

As the accident happened in a fraction of a second, right in front of their eyes, the family was shocked and baffled. His wife and children began to cry aloud in despair. Hearing their wails, fellow fisher-folk and their kin rushed to the spot. Not able to tolerate the recklessness of the driver, the fisher-folk staged a road roko. 

A section of them even began to pelt stones at the bus and broke the windshield completely.   The sudden change of events rattled Shanmugasundaram, the bus driver. He immediately took the bus to Mandapam Police station and surrendered. In the meantime, another bus too was stoned and damaged by the fishermen.

Wanting to take the agitation to the next level, one of the fishermen drove a bus to the middle of the road and parked it there. Soon, police personnel rushed to the spot and held talks with the fishermen. But as they did not budge, Ramanathapuram SP, Omprakash Meena, went to the spot and held talks with them. But, even as the SP was trying to pacify the protesters, a section of fishermen tried to torch a bus. 

Luckily, alert policemen averted a law and order problem by dousing it off immediately. Revenue Inspector, Bala, was filming the whole incident. When the protesters realised this, some of them snatched his mobile and flung it on the ground. Another section of fishermen began to pelt stones at the policemen. 

Left with no other choice, the police resorted to a lathi charge and dispersed the agitating fisher-folk.  As a sequel to the incident, 11 fishermen were arrested and 150 booked. Over 200 policemen have been deployed in the village. The body of Jegan was handed over to his family after a post mortem.

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