Palayamkottai police have arrested Devendrakula Vellalar Koottamaippu youth wing president S. Kannapiran, 38, of Chathrampudukulam near Thatchanallur in connection with the petrol bomb attack on the house of Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam founder-president P. John Pandian on Sunday night.

Kannapiran, along with his supporter Balamurugan, 32, of Pallamadai near Manur, was remanded in judicial custody on Monday night.

Sources in the police said Kannapiran and his supporters developed enmity with Mr. John Pandian and his supporters as the Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader was constantly trying to step into the shoes of C. Pasupathi Pandian, founder-president of Devendrakula Vellalar Koottamaippu, after he was murdered a few years ago at Dindigul.

Rivelry

As Kannapiran, by donning the role of Pasupathi Pandian, wanted to become the ‘saviour of Dalits’ in southern Tamil Nadu, it triggered rivalry between him and Mr. John Pandian, who is already heading a Dalit outfit.

“When the supporters of Kannapiran and Mr. John Pandian had put up flex banners for a function organised near Alwarthirunagari in Thoothukudi district recently, it led to scuffle between both sides as they had glorified their leaders. Three cars were damaged in an attack at Kembalabath on Tirunelveli–Tiruchendur highway and scores of banners were destroyed. As a result of this attack, petrol bombs were lobbed at Mr. John Pandian’s house at Manakavalan Pillai Nagar here on Sunday night in a bid to warn him,” a police officer said.

When the police tried to arrest Kannapiran, who is facing several criminal cases, from his house at Chathramputhukkulam on Monday morning, the sudden mobilisation of Dalit youth forced them to postpone the arrest to Monday night. Condemning the arrest of Kannapiran, his supporters pelted stones at buses, in which windscreens of 24 buses were damaged across the district on Monday night.

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