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Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu condemn police action against anti-CAA protesters

CHENNAI: Parties led by the DMK in Tamil Nadu on Saturday lashed out at the police for alleged use of force on anti-CAA protesters here and sought action against personnel involved in it.

With the government coming under opposition attack over the violence, the ruling AIADMK reaffirmed its commitment to the Muslim community and said “Goebbels like propaganda” against it would not work.

The city police appealed to the public to not to share any “provocative” messages on social media in this connection, even as anti-CAA protests by members of the Muslim community continued in different parts of the state.

Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister R B Udayakumar said the “Amma government” had always accorded high priority for the welfare of Muslims and saw to it that they were not “even minutely affected” in any way.

Speaking to reporters in Madurai, he said Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam were “protecting the Muslims like their children and family members.”

“Those unable to stomach this are unleashing lies and Goebbels like propaganda, but that will not benefit them. The people will also not believe them,” he said.

DMK President M K Stalin said Friday’s protests had been held in a peaceful manner and sought to know why the police used force to disperse them.

“Lathicharge was done unnecessarily on the peaceful people for no reason and this prompted people across the state to take to the streets,” Stalin said in a statement.

He said Friday had been turned into a “black night” for the protesters by the police.

On Friday, an anti-CAA protest by Muslims had turned violent when a group of protesters clashed with police here, leaving four personnel injured.

The incident had led to sporadic protests across Tamil Nadu, including at Washermanpet in the city, where the violence erupted, but protesters subsequently called off the agitation, following talks with City Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan.

Agitators had alleged police used force against them and that they were lathicharged.

On Saturday, Stalin demanded that any cases in this connection be withdrawn and sought action against policemen who allegedly resorted to lathicharge.

Hitting out at the AIADMK, the DMK chief said while the ruling party had voted in favour of the amended Citizenship Act in the Parliament, it was also not enacting an Assembly resolution against CAA, a demand put forth by his party.

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T T V Dhinakaran also targeted the government over the handling of the protest.

“Using force in peaceful protests amounts to stirring up a hornet’s nest,” the independent legislator said in a statement.

He wished such incidents did not repeat.

The Vaiko-led MDMK adopted a resolution in its district secretaries meeting, slamming the police for allegedly using force against protestors.

BJP leader H Raja, whose party is an ally of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, slammed the violence against police personnel in the protests.

In a tweet, he said “rioters should be dealt with an iron fist.”

Meanwhile, Viswanathan visited the injured police personnel admitted to a private and government hospital.

Later, he told reporters that he wanted to check if any public said to be injured in yesterday’s incident had been admitted to the government hospital, but there were none.

Reiterating the need for peace, he appealed to the public not to share “wrong or provocative” social media messages, especially on Twitter and Facebook.

“People of Tamil Nadu follow peace and maintain law and order. That tradition has to be followed,” he said.

Protests continued in parts of the state including here, Cuddalore and Ramanathapuram by members of the Muslim community, both against the CAA as well as demanding action over yesterday’s episode.



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