Traffic on GST Road in the southern suburbs of Chennai was paralysed for more than two hours on Tuesday morning after cadres of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) went on a protest near Perungulathur when police prevented from entering the city for a political demonstration.
The Ananthapuri Express coming from Thiruvananthapuram was stoned and halted for more than 10 minutes between Vandalur and Tambaram.
However, the protesters were cleared by the Chengalpet police after more than two hours and vehicular movement was restored.
A senior officer of Chengalpet district said a large number of protesters have been taken in buses and kept in a community hall.
The cadres were headed to the city to participate in a demonstration under the leadership of the party’s youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss to press for 20% reservation for Vanniyars in government jobs and higher education.
The cadres numbering over 600 were stopped by the Chengalpet police near Vandalur. Following this they blocked road traffic. With the railway tracks being located adjacent to the GST Road they also went on protest blocking railway traffic.
A senior official of Southern Railway said the protesters pelted stones at the Ananthapuri Express. The driver stopped the train to prevent further damage to the train and injuries to passengers, sources said. Window panes of the locomotive was damaged in the stone pelting.
The police cleared the protesters from the track after which the train proceeded towards Chennai Egmore.
A senior officer of Chengalpet district police said road traffic was completely hit between Vandalur and Perungalathur with a large number of protesters proceeding in private vehicles stopped near Vandalur. Senior police officers after holding talks with the protesters removed them from the GST Road to ease traffic congestion.
Police did not grant permission for the PMK demonstration as part of the COVID-19 safety protocol.