On Monday morning, Chennai woke up to the news that thousands of police personnel had surrounded the protesters at Marina beach. TV channels beamed live visuals of police asking protesters to leave. Some left voluntarily, but many did not and that’s when the first signs of trouble started.
By noon, chaos reigned in the city; reports of vandalism and even arson were coming in from various parts. Protesters set fire to police vehicles outside the Ice house police station. The violence quickly spread to three or four adjoining areas.
With many, including those who had lead the jallikattu protests, blaming anti-national and nationalist forces of hijacking the movement, city vandals were blamed for the violence.
However, a live coverage by News 18 channel around 5 pm soon went viral. The visual showed a policeman throwing a burning bundle into an auto. An overturned cart can be seen in the visual and some fire behind.
The video went so viral that even actor Kamal Haasan tweeted it.
A senior journalist at News 18 told TNM that the video was from RK Salai in Chennai.
Other videos on social media posted by individuals showed policemen damaging vehicles at Marina beach.
Two more videos have created much furore, one showing a policeman setting an auto on fire. However, these videos could not be verified.
However, these videos do not change the fact that the police handled the situation efficiently at Marina.
And they cannot absolve the people who unleashed violence and indulged in arson and vandalism in some parts of Chennai.
A live cast on News 18 shows a mob setting a car on fire, throwing stones at the police and then challenging them to attack.
Puthiya Thalamurai had visuals of a group of men, shouting in glee and setting fire to many vehicles parked outside the Ice house police station.
An unverified video, viral on social media, shows a crowd attacking police and people on the road.