Police stop a man during a curfew [Representational Image]Reuters

In a brazen show of power, the Chennai traffic police reportedly tied a youth to an electric pole and thrashed him for not wearing a helmet and riding a two-wheeler in triples. The incident was caught on camera and has now gone viral on social media.

The video shows the 21-year-old driver, identified as M Prakash, tied to a pole by a policeman, while two others assault him. The incident took place in the busy T Nagar area Sunday, April 1.

Prakash was reportedly stopped by the police and told to step aside. He was questioned about why he wasn't wearing a helmet but his mother and sister, who were also on the bike with him, started arguing with the cops. Prakash also refused to pay the fine for violating traffic rules and was seen arguing with the policemen, Deccan Herald reported.

He was heard saying that he wouldn't pay the fine as the police had misbehaved with him. During the argument, he is said to have grabbed the collar of a cop, which resulted in the epaulet (one of the stars) of a policeman falling off. This is said to have enraged the police who then assaulted him.

The video received massive criticism from several quarters with even DMK MP Kanimozhi condemning the incident. However, the Tamil Nadu police released a statement detailing the incident and explained: "When Prakash was asked to pay fine, he behaved in a rude manner and began to shout in the middle of the road.

"He also punched on the face of sub-inspector Suresh and damaged the walkie-talkie device used by the personnel. He was overpowered immediately and was arrested."

The T Nagar police have now arrested Prakash and registered a case against him under sections 294 (b) (uttering obscene words in a public place), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of the Indian Penal Code.

He was later produced before a court and sent to judicial custody. He is currently lodged at the Puzhal prison.

Some may find the video disturbing and viewers discretion is advised.