A BJP supporter hurled a slipper at Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan’s car as he was returning after paying his respects to slain soldier D Lakshmanan at Madurai airport, where his body was brought on Saturday.
Rifleman Lakshmanan (24), from C Pudhupatti near Thirumangalam in Madurai district, was one of the four soldiers killed by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Thursday.
Since morning, a large number of BJP cadres had gathered near the airport as the party’s state president, K Annamalai, was expected to arrive to pay tributes to the slain soldier. While the minister was returning from the airport, the BJP’s female cadres blocked his convoy and raised slogans. One of them hurled a slipper at his car, leading to tension in the area.
Earlier, as the minister arrived, there was an altercation between the cadres of the ruling DMK and the BJP, sources said. “We were near the barricade awaiting the arrival of our state president. We had informed police that after the government protocol was completed, we would offer our respects and they were fine with the plan. However, the minister asked the authorities to disperse all of us. He was furious that even local people had gathered there to pay their respects. We do not know what happened outside. We will issue a statement in connection with this incident,” former MLA P Saravanan, who is the BJP’s district president, told indianexpress.com.
Chief Minister M K Stalin and Governor R N Ravi expressed condolences to the slain soldier’s family members. Stalin earlier announced a solatium of Rs 20 lakh to the family.
Annamalai took to Twitter saying that Lakshmanan was a testament to the patriotism and sacrifice that protected the nation.