Speaking to TNM about his actions, Municipal Commissioner Cecil Thomas states that he was trying to strike fear amongst the vendors who were setting up stalls.

Tirupattur civic official apologises after video of him overturning pushcart goes viral
news Coronavirus Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 15:49

The Municipal Commissioner of Vaniyambadi, Cecil Thomas, who was seen destroying fruits and vegetables in a market on Tuesday, has been forced to apologise for his actions. In a video that emerged on Tuesday, the Commissioner who was appointed close to six months ago, is seen walking through a market and overturning pushcarts, throwing out fruits and vegetables, and generally intimidating traders in the area.

The video created outrage on social media with politicians, police officers and residents questioning the officer's behaviour.

Following the criticism, the Municipal Commissioner then approached the vendors on Wednesday to seek forgiveness. No official action has however been taken against him, despite the video evidence. However, the State Human Rights Commission has take suo moto notice of media reports regarding the incident. 

Speaking to TNM about his actions, the official states that he was trying to strike fear amongst the vendors who were setting up stalls.

"We had given clear orders to people to not set up stalls in that market. In the mornings alone, it was attracting a crowd of over 300 people. We did not want another situation like the Koyambedu cluster," says Cecil. "For the past week, I have been giving warnings to them to not set up stalls. We even confiscated their pushcarts for a day and then gave it back but they are refusing to listen," he adds.

When asked why he had to resort to such extreme action, he said, "I just did this to scare them and make them fear coming to the market," he says. "I didn't want to take legal action as that will cause them permanent problems," he adds.

His superior, who spoke to TNM states that he wasn't aware that Cecil had apologised and confirmed that no action had been initiated against him as of now.

"We are all frustrated because people are not listening. It was a display of that frustration," he states.

Cecil says his apology came after introspection over his own action.

"I thought about it and felt very bad so I went by myself and apologised. I haven't got any calls or orders from any authorities," he says. 

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