Shopkeepers in Villianur downed shutters on Wednesday in protest against the alleged attack on a trader by an anti-social element for refusing to pay “mamool”. The protest was called by the Puducherry Traders Federation demanding immediate arrest of the accused under the Goondas Act and steps to curb the menace. The traders put up posters condemning the attack.
According to the police, Santhamoorthy of Krishna Nagar in Villianur went to a grocery shop run by Babu on Anna Salai in Villianur and demanded money. When Mr. Babu refused to pay, Santhamoorthy allegedly hit a worker in the grocery shop causing commotion in the area.
Villianur police rushed to the spot and attempted to take Santhamoorthy to the police station for interrogation. But the accused attacked the constables and fled the spot. A clip of the attack went viral.
Meanwhile, shopkeepers, led by Puducherry Traders Federation president M. Sivasankar, resorted to a road blockade near MGR statue in Villianur demanding immediate arrest of Santhamoorthy under the Goondas Act.
Mr. Sivasankar said that cases of anti-social elements attacking traders, harassing and extorting money from them had been on the rise. He said that there was a climate of fear and demanded security for traders.
The police personnel pacified the protesting shopkeepers and assured them of arresting Santhamoorthy following which they withdrew their protest.