Chennai: A group of men allegedly belonging to a Dravidian outfit attempted to hurl a petrol bomb at the residence of noted Hindutva ideologue S Gurumurthy here but it was foiled by alert sentries aided by a dog's bark, police said on Monday.
Days after Tamil magazine 'Thuglak' reprinted some pictures linked to the 1971 rally led by rationalist leader EV Ramasamy Periyar, eight men riding four motorcycles arrived in front of the house of Gurumurthy, who is also the periodical's editor at 3 am on Sunday.
A row had broken out recently following a remark by superstar Rajinikanth that images of Lord Ram and Sita were taken out with a garland of sandals in the rally at Salem. The actor had made the remark on 14 January at an event held by Thuglak.
"The eight men belonged to Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam and before they could act, the alert sentries chased them and they fled," a police official said. Following investigations, they were tracked down and arrested and their motive was to hurl a petrol bomb, he said.
"Probe will reveal if there are others who were part of the attempt," the official said.
To a question, he told PTI: "A dog and his trainer were present at that time (in Gurumurthy's residential premises) and the animal barked after seeing the motorcycle-borne men and it helped. The police personnel on duty noticed the men simultaneously."
Thuglak, in its last Tuesday issue published some pictures and a commentary related to the rally vis-a-vis the row following remarks by the actor. The magazine is also expected to reprint similar matter in its next issue on Tuesday.
Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan visited the spot and held inquiries, a police release said, adding all the eight men were aged between 22 and 36.
One of them, 33-year-old M Sasikumar had several cases against him including throwing petrol bombs at a hotel and a cinema hall, it said.
Gurumurthy took to Twitter on the foiled attack and said, "Lessons for the attackers. One, they must know I have been facing threats for 30 years. Theirs is not new to me. Two, they need better training and more courage.”
In March 2014 we found attempts to break our house doors & found on CCTV masked strong man attempting to enter the home in diverse ways between 1.30 am & 3 am. It definitely was a serious thing. We have over 2 hours recording of his attempt. Then police guards were posted at home
— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) January 27, 2020
He thanked and congratulated the police for swift action.
The Hindutva proponent said in March 2014, CCTV footage revealed attempts to break the doors of his house.
Also, Gurumurthy claimed that extremist 'Police' Fakruddin, now in a Tamil Nadu prison, had years ago confessed to police that he had been caught before he could shoot him.
Days after actor made his remark, the Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam accused him of uttering a blatant lie and demanded his unconditional apology and also filed police complaints seeking action against him.
Protests were also held against the actor by DVK and Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam and similar fringe Dravidian outfits. Rajinikanth, however, did not budge and asserted that he will not apologise since his remarks were factual.
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Updated Date: Jan 28, 2020 00:00:39 IST