Armed assailants issued threats; family of four saved as help arrived on time
The Dalit woman president of Madurapakkam panchayat near Tambaram, her husband and their children survived a pre-dawn attack at their home on Sunday.
Timely help from a friend contacted by her husband, even as he tried to prevent the assailants from breaking open the door, helped them survive the attack, said panchayat president Amudha.
Madurapakkam village panchayat comes under the St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union and falls in the jurisdiction of Selaiyur police. Amudha and her husband Velmurugan live in the first floor of a three-storey house on Mambakkam Main Road, along with their two school-going children.
Velmurugan’s younger brother lives on the ground floor, while another relative lives on the second floor. Amudha and Velmurugan were sleeping in the bedroom along with their children when they heard noises around 1.10 a.m. “There were some men at the rear door of the house and they kept banging on it and asked us to come out,” Amudha said.
Later at Selaiyur police station, Velmurugan said the men had gained entry into the building from the rear. The assailants bolted the steel gate from outside to make sure no one could escape.
“They kept banging at the door with iron beams and rods. I first contacted the police control room and then called Meeran, a ward member of the panchayat. While making the calls, I pushed against the door with my hands to prevent the men from breaking in. Meeran arrived with a group of men in just 10 minutes. I shudder to think what would have happened had help not arrived,” Velmurugan said.
On seeing a group of people rushing in, the assailants jumped out of the house and escaped into the Madurapakkam Reserve Forest. Following a complaint, a case has been registered. In the FIR, B. Palani, M. Anandan, E. Gopal and P. Manoharan and others have been named as suspects.
Amudha is the panchayat president of Madurapakkam for the second successive term and she and her husband are DMK members. There are nine ward members in the panchayat and six of them belong to DMK.
Velmurugan said his wife had been subject to constant harassment from members belonging to the ruling AIADMK. Even during routine panchayat meetings of the grama sabha, they would raise objections and prevent her from discharging her duties, he said.