PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss on Wednesday apologised for the desecration of a heritage temple by his party workers, who continued their protest against the arrest of party chief S Ramadoss for allegedly inciting caste violence.
“It should not have been done, it is wrong and I apologise for the act of the workers,” Anbumani Ramadoss, former Union health minister and son of S Ramadoss, told press persons at a news conference here.
However, as regards the violence, Anbumani Ramadoss said all the allegations were false. “PMK men were the victims of violence by activists of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, which represents the Dalits.”
“Our show at Mahabalipuram (55 km south of Chennai) was huge and successful, which is why all other political parties feel threatened and are taking action against us,” he said, asking for a probe by a high court judge into the violence and police action.
PMK workers, belonging to the Vanniyar community, had reportedly attacked Dalits, destroyed their houses and set fire to vehicles in villages near Marakkanam (30 km from Mahabalipuram), the venue of the PMK’s annual cultural festival, Chittirai Thiruvizha, on Thursday. In the process, the temple, a monument on the list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, was vandalised. The Archeological Survey of India has sought adequate protection for the monument.
Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has promised tough action against Ramadoss, who was arrested on Tuesday and sent to jail when he defied ban orders at Villupuram, some 170 km from Chennai.
Meanwhile, PMK workers went on widespread violent protests in north and north-western Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, damaging buses and setting fire to at least three of them, and blocking roads with felled trees to protest the arrest of S Ramadoss.