Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu: A shocking incident at the renowned Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleshwarar Temple has sparked public outrage after a DMK functionary allegedly assaulted a female police inspector on duty. The incident has raised concerns about police safety and the alleged misuse of political influence.
On December 27, during the busy “Arudra darshan” ceremony, I Sreedharan, a local DMK figure, along with his family, visited the temple. Following their darshan, they reportedly stood for an extended period at the shrine of Unnammulaiyamman, blocking the view for other devotees in the queue.
Inspector Gandhimathi, on duty at the time, politely requested Sreedharan and his wife to step aside. Enraged by this request, Sreedharan reportedly threatened and insulted the inspector, claiming his political affiliations and family connection to the temple management. He then, in a shocking move, slapped Inspector Gandhimathi in full view of the devotees.
The incident left the inspector and surrounding devotees deeply disturbed. Gandhimathi filed a formal complaint against Sreedharan, his wife Sivashankari, and a temple employee allegedly involved. Initial reports suggest that a case was registered under four sections, including preventing duty, assault, and violence.
However, further developments revealed attempts to suppress the incident. The local DSP reportedly tried to convince Gandhimathi to drop the complaint and delete evidence. This lack of action further fueled public anger, with Hindu Munnani, a Hindu rights group, voicing concerns about police bias and demanding prompt action.
Following public pressure and intervention from Hindu Munnani, the Director General of Police (DGP) ordered the registration of a case against Sreedharan, Sivashankari, and the temple employee. However, despite the registered case, the individuals have not been arrested as of now.
This incident has ignited widespread anger and concerns about the safety of law enforcement personnel and the potential misuse of political influence. Hindu Munnani’s ongoing protests highlight the public’s demand for swift and appropriate action against the accused.
There are allegations that certain high-ranking police officers intentionally destroyed CCTV footage capturing the incident, purportedly to favor DMK leader Sreedharan. Some devotees recorded videos on their mobile phones, but they faced threats from temple dignitaries who seized their phones and deleted the recorded videos allegedly.
Tamil Nadu BJP President Annamalai has also strongly condemned, tweeted on X “Ever since the DMK came to power, law and order has broken down across Tamil Nadu and criminal activities have been going on continuously. Government officials are being killed by sand robbers, police officers are being threatened by DMK and policewomen are being sexually harassed, the machinery of the government has completely broken down. The news that DMK state executive committee member Sreedharan has slapped a woman police inspector who was on security duty in Thiruvannamalai temple on the cheek shows how low the dignity of the police has been under the DMK regime.
Annamalai said,If a woman police officer can be assaulted in front of the public with the arrogance of being a DMK party member, what is the position of the common people? Has the DMK forgotten that it was unable to come to power for ten consecutive years due to the atrocities committed during its 2006-2011 regime? I urge Chief Minister Stalin to immediately arrest and take strict action against a DMK person named Sreedharan, who assaulted a female police officer, and to immediately remove his brother Jeevanandham, who is the chairman of the Tiruvannamalai Temple Trustee Committee.”
திமுக ஆட்சிக்கு வந்ததில் இருந்தே, தமிழகம் முழுவதும் சட்டம் ஒழுங்கு சீர்குலைந்து, குற்றச் செயல்கள் தொடர்ச்சியாக நடந்து கொண்டிருக்கின்றன. அரசு அதிகாரிகளே மணல் கொள்ளையர்களால் கொலை செய்யப்படுவதும், திமுகவினரால், காவல்துறை அதிகாரிகள் மிரட்டப்படுவதும், பெண் காவலர்கள் பாலியல்… pic.twitter.com/t5e7fYawyw
— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) December 29, 2023
Unconfirmed sources say the court has denied bail to the three persons against whom cases have been registered. Some say the woman who accompanied Sreedharan was not his wife (they allegedly have extra martial relationship) and it was she who slapped the woman inspector. As CCTV and video footages have been destroyed it is very difficult to ascertain the true version but she was slapped is a fact.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and it remains to be seen if arrests will be made and what penalties will be imposed. This case has become a significant point of discussion, raising crucial questions about accountability and respect for law enforcement in Tamil Nadu.