The CCTV visuals show a man, DMK youth wing secretary Yuvraj, having an argument with the hotel cashier, who is seen sitting behind the counter. Four more young men, Yuvraj's cronies stand behind watching the altercation, even as two waiters look on.
As the argument gets more heated, Yuvraj leans over the counter and slaps the cashier and pushes away stacks of papers kept on the counter. As one waiter intervenes, Yuvraj and friends surround him, while one holds his neck, another slaps him. The cashier rushes forward to help the waiter and that is when he becomes victim to a consistent and violent attack. He is then hit on the face ten times in twenty seconds, mainly by Yuvraj and then the others take turns. Another waiter who tried to intervene was also badly hit.
This was what was captured on a CCTV in Salem RR Biriyani shop in Virugambakkam in Chennai on 29th July, the men had assaulted the hotel staff for not giving them free biriyani. According to the hotel staff, the goons had said that they were going to the hospital where DMK President M Karunanidhi was hospitalised.
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"They came to the restaurant at around 10 pm on July 28 and demanded free biriyani. They were using Karunanidhi's ill health and claiming they were DMK cadre. We were completely out of food and the shop was actually closed. Even if we had food we would have given it to get rid of them. But we did not have anything and we were closing accounts," Tamilselvan, owner of the restaurant, who was in Delhi when the incident took place, told TNM.
Three of Tamilselvan's relatives were present in the hotel at that point - 60-year-old Nagaraj, 34-year-old Prakash and 27-year-old Karunanidhi, the owner said. Some of the staff members and relatives of the owner suffered injuries.
"When we said there was no food, they got violent. A man named Yuvraj was the one who hit my relatives the most and there were several other men with him. Prakash had to get 5 stitches - 3 on his forehead and two on his nose and Karunanidhi two stitches. They even beat up our North Indian waiters outside the shop," Tamilselvan added.
When TNM contacted the Virugambakkam police station, they said that the incident took place on July 29 and that an FIR was filed on Monday. An officer further added that all the accused were absconding.
"We have to catch them, they are all absconding. There is some kind of previous motive and the lack of food has been used as an excuse," says the officer. " The have been booked under sections 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 147 (rioting) of the Indian Penal code (IPC)."