After a video of young men dangerously brandishing knives while hanging from the footboard of an MTC bus in Chennai went viral, the city police arrested four students on charges of rioting on Thursday.
Speaking to TNM, Inspector of the Washermenpet police station said, "The students have been remanded. They were all identified as first year students of the Presidency College. The Commissioner himself has visited Presidency College and addressed the students, telling them not to indulge in such activities."
Of the four students arrested in relation to the crime, three are minors. The fourth one, 19-year-old Shivashankar, is a first year student of Presidency College, like the other three. Their parents were also called to the police station on Friday.
The students have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 147(Punishment), 147(Punishment for rioting), 148(Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 294(b)(sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both), and 506(II)(Punishment for criminal intimidation).
The shocking incident happened on Wednesday in Chennai, where a video captured showed young men on an MTC bus brandishing knives, dragging them across the surface of the road as the bus moved.
The culprits can be seen hanging off the footboard of the bus, and holding billhooks. A few of them had even tied a handkerchief around their head to mask their faces.
As they did the act, they were heard yelling, “Mannila kaloori ku jai!” which translates to “Long Live Presidency College!”
Shot near the Mint flyover in north Chennai were reportedly doing this to get sparks flying from the friction between the knives and the road. The bus they were on is number 57F which plies from Red Hills to Karanodai.
In June this year, students of the Presidency College were arrested and detained for carrying weapons to campus on their first day of college. They, along with students of other colleges, had also caused inconvenienced passengers and created public nuisance by climbing buses, playing loud songs and singing.
And in January, some Presidency college students had vandalised the Pattaravakam railway station, injuring three people and chasing away commuters. A similar case of vandalism was recorded in October 2017, when a video of students traveling on a train, holding sickles and knives went viral.
These cases of gang wars, allegedly, originate from an inter-college rivalry contest called “route thala”, where students of participating colleges try to establish control and supremacy over the specific route. Colleges on this specific route are Presidency, Nandanam and Pachaiyappa’s.