Chennai floods: Looting relief materials in a time of tragedy

It's happening all over Cuddalore district, volunteers say
Chennai floods: Looting relief materials in a time of tragedy
Chennai floods: Looting relief materials in a time of tragedy
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While workers of political parties fought sticker and poster-battles with relief workers to claim credit (or discredit the AIADMK for ‘claiming’ credit) for the material supplied to flood-affected areas, it is now the turn of the general public to turn into a greedy mob of people targeting relief supplies.

It has been several days since relief material volunteers began to talk of such instances, and it appears that the ‘attacks’ on relief material are continuing across Chennai and Cuddalore districts. Volunteers have narrated stories to TNM on how they were stopped by certain groups or villagers who demanded that the relief materials be given to them, this in spite of relief having reached them earlier.

On Monday, Arun Janardhan, a reporter with The Indian Express tweeted:

A Bengaluru-based relief worker who has been coordinating with an informal group of people to supply relief material to flood-hit areas of Cuddalore district posted a video of a truck being ransacked in Kallayankuppam village near Permual Eri.

Amirtharaj Stephen, who is a freelance photographer and documentary filmmaker, said that the video was taken on Sunday when he was escorting a lorry loaded with around Rs 1 lakh worth of materials collected from different people. At Kalyankuppam the villagers stopped the lorry and simply began to ransack the vehicle. 

“Milk (from packets) was splashed all over. It was very disturbing,” Amirhtaraj said.

Later that evening, he says he met up with other relief workers, doctors by profession, who told him a similar story. The general refrain everywhere was ‘We are not getting anything’, Amirtharaj said, adding that people from villages would gather on the main roads and stop vehicles.

Asked if they sought protection from the police, Amirtharaj said that around three days ago AIADMK workers had allegedly pasted stickers on relief material in the presence of the police. So, going to the police was not an option, he said.

Other people too, have posted about this. Below is a video posted on Facebook by Satheesh Kumar also on Sunday.

A BJP leader from Tamil Nadu tweeted:

Earlier, The News Minute had reported that relief workers were being stopped, and supply materials marked with stickers of the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. 

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