Two members of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, who were caught on camera thrashing employees of a hotel in Chennai, were suspended from the party on Wednesday.
In a statement, K Anbazhagan, the General Secretary of the DMK, announced that two men – Yuvraj, who was the DMK youth wing secretary, and Dhivakar – have been suspended from the party for assaulting hotel employees in Virugambakkam.
“Since Yuvraj and Dhivakar behaved in a manner that is not in line with the party discipline and brings disrepute to the party, they are suspended from the basic membership of the party,” read the statement.
DMK Working President MK Stalin took to Twitter to condemn the act of his partymen.
"The attack on the shop employees in Virugambakkam is highly condemnable. We have removed the men who violated the principles of our party. Strict action will be taken against those who act in a manner that brings disrepute to the party," said the tweet.
விருகம்பாக்கத்தில் உள்ள கடை உரிமையாளர் மற்றும் ஊழியர்கள் மீது தாக்குதல் நடத்தியிருப்பது கடும் கண்டனத்திற்குரியது. கழக கட்டுப்பாட்டை மீறியவர்கள் நீக்கப்பட்டுள்ளார்கள். கழக நற்பெயருக்கு ஊறு விளைவிக்கும் வகையில் யார் செயல்பட்டாலும் கடும் நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கப்படும் என எச்சரிக்கிறேன்! pic.twitter.com/Y5PdjGjeMI— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) 1 August 2018
The DMK received much criticism on social media for only suspending the members and not sacking them immediately. A DMK leader, however, said that according to the party's constitution, they can only suspend first and then a show cause notice will be issued to the errant person. It is only after receiving the member's explanation that the party can take permanent action if needed.
Yuvraj and his friends assaulted the employees of Salem RR Biriyani shop in Virugambakkam on Sunday when the workers refused to entertain their demand for free food. The act was caught on the CCTV camera installed inside the hotel and the video went viral on social media.
In the video, the DMK youth wing secretary, Yuvraj, is seen having an argument with the hotel cashier, who is seen sitting behind the counter. Four other young men, who were Yuvraj's cronies, stand behind watching the altercation.
A while later, Yuvraj leans over the counter, slaps the cashier and pushes away stacks of papers kept on the counter. Yuvraj and friends surround a waiter who tries to intervene and slap him too.
The cashier, who rushes forward to help the waiter, receives heavy blows from the men. He is then hit on the face around ten times in twenty seconds, mainly by Yuvraj, and then the others take turns to hit him.
According to the hotel staff, the men visited the shop and claimed free biriyani and told them that they were on their way to Kauvery Hospital, where the DMK supremo Karunanidhi has been admitted.
Speaking to TNM, the owner of the hotel said that the shop had closed for the day when the men came in and demanded free food. When the staff tried to reason with them, the men turned violent. The owner added that their injuries were so bad that they had to get stitches.