Chennai: A container lorry slammed into a life-size statue of social reformer Periyar E.V. Ramasamy on Kamaraj Salai in Villupuram town on Wednesday at midnight, damaging it. Police stated the incident was an accident and that the lorry's driver had been captured, ruling out the occurrence as the work of criminals.
According to police, the statue was placed at the crossroads of Kamaraj Salai in the town about 40 years ago. The container lorry was on its way to Pune, transporting tyres from a factory in Nettapakkam, Puducherry. The accident happened when lorry driver Mahendra Sable was reversing his vehicle and collided with the statue. The statue and pedestal toppled as a result of the collision.
As word of the incident spread, supporters of the ruling DMK demonstrated outside the Villupuram town police station and blocked traffic on the Four Roads junction, demanding the authorities to prosecute the lorry driver. After Revenue officials attempted to remove the damaged statue, the members got into a violent argument with officers.
They were pacified by senior police officers, after which they withdrew their protest. The lorry driver was taken into custody. There has been a formal complaint filed.