Chennai: The mehendi rumours that did the rounds on Sunday night left scores of women thronging government hospitals across the State.
In fact, at certain places, the women refused to heed the advice of officials and protested. Government hospitals such as the Rajiv Gandhi, Stanley, Royapettah and Kilpauk Medical College saw crowds from midnight.
The police was then called in as the situation almost went out of hand.
Muslim women complained of rashes in their hands and feet after they applied mehendi ahead of Eid.
The four hospitals alone together saw about 500 such women seeking treatment, out of which hardly 10 developed very minimum allergies such as rashes and itching.
Police sources claimed that a group indulged in road roko at Thiru Vi Ka nagar after a private hospital allegedly turned them away.
“What started at around midnight ended only in the early morning just before the prayers were about to begin,” said on police officer.
Officials investigating the origin of the rumour said severe action would be taken against those who spread such false information.
In Vellore, District Collector Ajay Yadav, who had personally supervised the rush in hospitals, said that the source of rumour was being investigated. The situation however was brought under control very quickly by the doctors, local religious leaders, MLAs and police, he added.
Meanwhile, Vaniyambadi police arrested five persons for spreading rumours that two persons had died due to poisonous mehendi and damaging public properties. The accused pelted stones at the ambulances stationed near the GH at Vaniyambadi and damaged the windshield of two ambulances.
The arrested were identified as Kamaludin (47), Safiullah (31), Mehaboob (24), Jan Basha (25) and Fiyazh (25). Sources claim that the reason for this sudden stir was inter-state text messages, received by some Muslim families, narrating instances of women swooning after the application of mehendi.
In Tiruchy, several Muslim families received SMSs claiming that those who applied mehendi swooned. The clerics conducting Ramzan prayers made announcements asking the women to avoid using mehendi.
Similar texts were received by people in Coimbatore and Ramanathapuram. Tension prevailed in some areas of Coimbatore with a dominant Muslim population.