Tension prevailed in Vellalapatti village near Karuppur, as unidentified miscreants damaged the statue of B.R. Ambedkar in the early hours of Friday.
While two youths attempted to self immolate themselves, the cadre of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) blocked the traffic on the Salem–Bengaluru highway for about an hour, condemning the incident.
Police sources said that the locals, on spotting the damaged hands of the statue installed on the Santhai Maidan in the village, sat in dharna demanding the arrest of the culprits and immediate replacement of the statue.
When the Karuppur police convinced them, the people refused to withdraw their agitation till a new statue was installed.
Meanwhile, a couple of youths attempted self-immolation, only to be stopped by other locals.
A section of the cadre of the VCK, who visited the village later, blocked the traffic on the Salem–Bengaluru NH condemning what they alleged “delaying tactics” of the police and the official machinery in arresting the culprits and installing a new statue.
The police forcibly removed them and restored traffic on the NH. They later withdrew the agitation after police assured immediate action. The police has picked up two local people for questioning, police sources said.