‘Route thalas’ surrender to cops, promise not to indulge in violence 

Putting an end to armed clashes between college students, the city police today received written letters from youngsters identified as ‘route thalas’ that they would not engage in violence henceforth.

Route thala means leader of students in a particular bus or train route. A few days ago, students from Pachaiyappa’s College stopped an MTC route number 29E plying from Perambur to Tiruverkadu and waged an attack on two students. 

The gang used machetes kept in their bags and started attacking the other group. The incident took place in broad day light and the video of the clash went viral on social media.

It is said that the gangs fought over who would be the route thala in the Poonamalle to Parry’s Corner route.

This morning, 33 students, along with their parents, came to the Deputy Commissioner’s office at Ambattur and submitted letters assuring the city police that they would not engage in violence or gang fights. They also pledged to abide by their word. 

The police also held discussions with the principals of the three colleges – Pachaiyappa’s, Presidency college and New college – whose students are infamously involved in such violent incidents.

A meeting was convened by the Joint Commissioner of Police (East) R Sudhakar on Thursday in Egmore. It was decided in the meeting that students who are found guilty of creating violence will be told to undergo compulsory community service, which includes regulating road traffic on busy stretches. 

Though ‘Bus Day’ celebrations have been banned in the city, under the guise of celebrating ‘Bus Day’, students are often reported to be causing inconvenience to the general public as they stand and dance on the roofs of buses. 

On Tuesday, things took a turn for the worse when some students from Pachaiyappa’s College attacked a rival group with iron rods on a public road in Arumbakkam.