A tense situation prevailed in Vilankurichi in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore, when an altercation broke out between police personnel and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) cadre. The RSS was hosting a training programme at a school in the area, when members of the Naam Tamilar Katchi party decided to stage a protest against it on Friday, December 31. In light of the protest, the police were deployed in front of the school, and the altercation broke out when police officials were physically stopped from entering the school premises.
Videos of the incident have been widely shared on social media, where several police officials, including the Coimbatore Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) T Jayachandran, were seen trying to enter the school premises. However, they were stopped by a wall of RSS activists, who did not allow the police to enter. The video then shows one of the RSS men shoving a police officer, after which chaos breaks out.
Based on a complaint by Superintendent of Police T Rajkumar, a First Information Report (FIR) was filed by the police against four RSS members and the north district secretary of the Hindu Munnani. According to the FIR, the men stopped the police from doing their duty outside the school, and have been booked under Sections 143 (Punishment for unlawful assembly) and 353 (Assault or use of criminal force to public servants) of the Indian Penal Code.
Earlier during the day, the police had also detained several members of the Naam Tamilar Katchi and Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, who were protesting against the RSS programme at the school. The parties demanded that the RSS be banned from conducting training programmes at educational institutions. However, the protesters were detained by the police, and an FIR was filed against the president of the Kavundampalayam branch of the Naam Tamilar Katchi, along with 18 others including women. They were booked under Sections 143, 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) and 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease) of the IPC. The FIR states that they violated COVID-19 norms and ignored safety rules such as maintaining social distance. However, the protesters who were detained were released by the police later the same day.