Xerox Centre near Nanguneri Taluk Office, Tirunelveli
Xerox Centre near Nanguneri Taluk Office, Tirunelveli

TN: Class 12 student arrested for hurling country bombs at journo's computer centre

Vanamamalai, a journalist based in Tirunelveli district, has already received death threats for his extensive reportage on Nanguneri caste crime, and irregularities of Vanamamalai Perumal Temple Math.

 A 17-year-old boy has been arrested by the Nanguneri police, on Tuesday, November 21, for allegedly hurling country-made bombs at a journalist’s computer centre located near the Nanguneri taluk office in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The accused has been identified as a Class 12 student of a government school and a resident of the Marukal Kurichi locality in Nanguneri. The police said the boy had been sent to an observation home after being accused in another crime earlier this year. 

Vanamamalai (50), a journalist working with Jaya TV, also runs a computer centre near the Nanguneri taluk office. As per First Information Report (FIR), at around 9 am, the accused came on a two-wheeler and hurled two country-made bombs into the computer centre and allegedly threatened that he would kill Vanamamalai. The journalist has already received death threats for his extensive reportage on Nanguneri caste crime, and irregularities of Vanamamalai Perumal Temple Math.

“There was an explosion at the entrance of the centre that damaged the banner when he hurled a second bomb. That’s when I realised that he was pelting country-made bombs,” Vanamamalai told TNM. When the neighbouring shop owners started to shout at him, he dropped the third bomb on the road and left the place, the journalist said. Vanamamalai alerted the police and lodged a complaint in Nanguneri police station. Police recovered unexploded bombs from the spot. The minor was arrested and booked under sections 307 (attempting to commit murder), 506(ii) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act, and Section 4 of Tamil Nadu Public Property (prevention of damage and loss) Act.

According to the police, the minor had already attacked someone in Nanguneri in June this year and was sent to an observation home. The incident had been reported in the Tamil daily Dinakaran. “When the accused learnt about this news report, he began searching for the journalist who had reported the news in Dinakaran. He also learnt that Vanamamalai was associated with Dinakaran and thought that he might have reported the news,” a police source said. Vanamamalai had quit his job and joined Jaya TV almost a year ago.

Speaking to TNM, Vanamamalai said that there was another motive behind his attack. He alleged that the student was instigated by either the relatives of the students who attacked Dalit teen siblings Chinnadurai and Chandra Selvi on August 9 this year or the Vanamamalai Perumal Temple Math administration. Vanamamalai has been continuously reporting on attacks against Dalit students, which led the relatives of six accused students, along with local caste organisations, to complain against Vanamamalai at the Nanguneri Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) office. The DSP office disposed of the petition, stating that Vanamamalai was only doing his job and gave police protection at his residence till October 29. 

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