Tension prevailed at the headquarters of the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP in Chennai as petrol bombs were hurled at the building at around 1.30 am on Thursday, February 10. The attack took place after unidentified people rode across the headquarters of the state unit of the party on a two-wheeler and hurled the bombs, police said. No one was injured in the attack.
Following the incident, police swept into action and began scanning CCTV footage of the area. Visuals also showed police collecting evidence from the scene of the crime. Police said one person by the name Vinod has been taken into custody. Vinod, said to be 38 years old, hails from Nandanam area in Chennai. Further investigation into the attack is underway.
Speaking to ANI, BJP leader Karate Thyagaran said, “A petrol bomb was hurled at our office around 1:30 am. Similar incident took place 15 years ago with DMK's role in it. We condemn Tamil Nadu govt's (role) for this incident...We have also informed police...BJP cadre doesn't get afraid of such things.”
In a press release, the police said that as per preliminary investigation, Vinod was upset with the BJP’s stand on the issue of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil Nadu. It was due to this anger that he hurled three petrol bombs on the headquarters of the BJP in Chennai, police said. The preliminary investigation also suggested that he did not carry out the attack due to any religious or political motivations.
The police said that Vinod was also booked earlier in connection with similar cases where petrol bombs were hurled. In 2015, he had hurled a petrol bomb at a TASMAC shop under the jurisdiction of R-1 Mambalam police station. In 2017, he had hurled a petrol bomb at the entrance of the Teynampet police staiton. He had also been arrested at the time, the release said. Vinod is also said to have four cases of attempt to murder registered against him. He will be produced before a local court soon.
The incident came just a day after the Tamil Nadu Assembly made history on Tuesday, February 8, by re-adopting the Bill against NEET that was returned by Governor RN Ravi. Governor RN Ravi had earlier returned the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill to the Assembly, saying that it goes against the interests of students hailing from poor economic backgrounds. It is for the first time in its 70-year history that the Tamil Nadu Assembly is re-adopting the same draft of a Bill without amendment.