Tension gripped the coastal hamlet of Thazhanguda near here on Saturday night after a 36-year-old fisherman was hacked to death by a 10-member gang. Soon after the incident, the victims supporters resorted to arson and damaged property.
At least 20 fishing boats, two-wheelers and cars were set ablaze by miscreants during the violence that broke out at 10. 00 p.m.
Police identified the victim as Madivanan, 36, brother of former panchayat president Masilamani.
The victim was returning on his two-wheeler from Cuddalore to Thazhanguda when a gang waylaid and hacked him to death.
Police sources said long-standing rivalry during the panchayat elections between families of the present panchayat president and former president Masilamani had snowballed into a major issue.
Tension had been brewing between the two groups after Shanthi, wife of Madiazhagan contested for the post of panchayat president of Gundu Uppalavadi. Shanthi won the post defeating her nearest rival Praveena, wife of Masilamani. A clash broke out between both the groups in April and the police booked cases against them.
As news of Madivanans death spread, his supporters resorted to arson in the hamlet damaging fishing boats and ransacking 10 houses of the rival group.
Superintendent of Police M. Sree Abhinav and Deputy Inspector General of Police (Villupuram Range) K. Ejilearassane rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. Additional police forces have been rushed to the hamlet.
Mr. Abhinav said that supporters of the deceased went on a riot and torched fishing boats and two-wheelers. Both the groups had long-standing rivalry and they were bound over by Section 107 for a year in January. The police had also invoked 110 of CrPC proceedings against them but they had violated the bond. We have detained 43 persons in connection with the arson, he said.