No passengers were injured but the windshield of the train was damaged during the incident.

PMK members protest in front of a train in Perungalathur Railway station in Chengalpattu
news Protest Tuesday, December 01, 2020 - 15:15

Over 20 members of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), who gathered to take part in a protest seeking 20% sub-reservation for people of Vanniyar caste, a Most Backward Class community in Tamil Nadu, gathered in front of a moving train in Perungalathur Railway station in Chengalpattu and pelted stones at it on Tuesday morning. The members of PMK forced the train to come to a grinding halt since the protesters were stopped from entering Chennai. Though the passengers on the train escaped unhurt, a source in the Southern Railways said that the windshield of the train was damaged in the incident.

PMK founder Ramadoss on Saturday called for a protest demanding 20% sub-quota for Vanniyars in education and jobs from December 1. Following this, many PMK members gathered near Perungalathur in Chengalpattu to make their way to Chennai. However, the protesters were not provided permission by the police to enter the city. Angered by this, the protesters started to pelt stones on a moving train in Perungalathur station. They also blocked traffic for three hours, affecting vehicular movement between Chennai and Chengalpattu districts.

A video that emerged from the spot on Tuesday shows over 20 PMK members with party flags and t-shirts entering the railway track from a main road in Perungalathur and pelting stones and track ballast at an approaching train. Even though the brake was applied, the train with passengers halted close to a few protesters on the railway track. They immediately gathered in front of the train and continued to pelt more stones before leaving the place.

A source in Southern Railways told TNM, “It was a loco train and passengers were present during the stone pelting incident. However, the driver stopped the train and took control of the situation. As a result, an untoward incident was avoided, but the windshield of the train was damaged.” He said that the persons involved in the incident will be arrested but there were no details if a case was registered yet or not.

வன்முறை
வன்முறை#BanPMK pic.twitter.com/ffkSacYCEB

— வன்னி அரசு (@VanniArasu_VCK) December 1, 2020

The Chengalpattu Railway police said that they have not registered a complaint but investigation is ongoing. “We will register a complaint after inspecting the spot,” said Chengalpattu Sub-Inspector of Police Vairavan.

After the incident, PMK founder Ramadoss said, "Only my body is at Thailapuram, my soul and heart is at Chennai's protesting field."

என் உடல் மட்டும் தான் தைலாபுரத்தில் உள்ளது.... உயிரும், உள்ளமும் சென்னை போராட்டக்களத்தில் தான் உள்ளன.#VanniyarAgitation20 #SocialJustice4Vanniyar

— Dr S RAMADOSS (@drramadoss) December 1, 2020

Many people on social media condemned PMK cadre for damaging public property. In the wake of the protest, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami agreed to meet Anbumani Ramadoss, a former Union Minister, on Tuesday at 1.30 pm. Following this, Ramadoss reached the Secretariat to meet the CM.

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