Speaking at the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami defended the police action against the anti-CAA protestors who are gathered at the Washermanpet locality in the Northern part of Chennai to replicate Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh protests, since Friday. He said that some miscreants had instigated the untoward incidents. 

Palaniswami, whose AIADMK party is an ally of the BJP stated, “Protestors did not have the required permission. When they were asked to get arrested, some people started pelting stones, slippers, and bottles and that is when the police had to resort to using force. This is an instigated protest.”

The Chief Minister urged the Muslim community to reject the false propaganda, designs of the miscreants and cooperate with the government to maintain social harmony. “The government of Amma (Jayalalithaa) will not allow anything against the minorities and it will protect the minorities,” he said. 

Mentioning that permission for the protest was sought on behalf of 13 mosques only on February 13, the Chief Minister added that all of a sudden, over 300 Muslims including 200 women assembled near the Washermanpet roundabout and raised slogans against the CAA. “The police held talks with them and cautioned against protests since it had disrupted traffic flow. But they rejected the advice, raised slogans and obstructed the police from detaining 40 persons. When the police kept the arrested persons on a bus, they smashed the windows of the vehicle,” he said. 

He added that barricades were placed to prevent protesters from causing damage to public property, but the protesters instigated the locals to push the barricades and the police. He added that 82 protesters were arrested and they broke the windows of the bus. 

The Chief Minister said the death of an elderly man Fazurulla due to natural causes was distorted as a death caused by police action and it led to protests in Chennai and other areas. 

In response to the CM’s reply, the MK Stalin-led DMK staged a walk-out from the Tamil Nadu Assembly, as they were not pleased with Palaniswami’s defence of the police action. Stalin said, “The government’s version is totally false. The police are the ones who attacked the peaceful protesters.” 

Earlier, Stalin had urged for a probe into the issue. The DMK President had termed that the action that was taken against the protesters by the Tamil Nadu government as ‘incorrect’ and called on the police to release the protestors. 

Stalin had condemned the AIADMK government’s police crackdown on the night of February 14. Claiming that it was a deliberate attack on people who demonstrated peacefully against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) he urged the authorities to release the detainees and ensure that the cases against them are withdrawn.

Courtesy : DNA

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