Hundreds of people gathered outside the Chennai collectorate on Wednesday to protest against the Centre's new cattle sale rules, effectively imposing a license raj on cattle slaughter. The battle cry was sounded by DMK working president MK Stalin, who arrived at the venue at 9.45am to lead the protests.
Hitting out at the Centre, Stalin said, "The BJP government at the Centre is taking away the state's powers. They're dictating terms to the states, and this is unacceptable."
"Edappadi Palaniswami says he wants to study the order carefully before commenting. When the Kerala Chief Minister and the West Bengal Chief Minister can condemn the move, why can't the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister do so?" Stalin asked, slamming EPS.
"Chief Minister is scared he will be next target of IT or CBI Raids," Stalin alleged. "He is the first to be named in RK Nagar 89 crore list."
Speaking on the attack at the IIT campus on Tuesday, Stalin said, "An IIT student was attacked, his eye severely injured. Such atrocities have happened."
The DMK working president further warned the central and the state governments that this was only the first phase of the protests. "If you dont act another marina like protest will begin," he said.
Stalin had announced the agigation on Monday, and had invited leaders of all opposition parties to join him on Wednesday to protest the Centre's new rules.
A large number of people came out with posters and banners slamming the central government for making cattle slaughter extremely difficult in the country.
One poster read: "Edhu edhuvo sollu atchikku vandhadhu, madhavadham mattume BJP thandadhu." (They came to power making all sorts of promises, but all that the BJP has brought in is communalism.)
Another poster said: "Unnum urimaiyai parithidadhe! Uzhaippor vayittril adithidadhe!" (Don't take away our right to eat! Don't hit workers on their stomach!)
A DMK worker from Maduravoyal South, Ganapathy, said, "These orders violate human rights. Traditional practices being curbed. People won't accept this. Modi is trying to push the Hindutva agenda. People being forced to follow this."
"Regulations is an excuse to ban meat. This is will not work out as they expect," he added.
IUML worker Sikandar Shah said, "Why is centre imposing these restrictions. Here to show support for protest. Centre is targeting Muslims. Not a conservation effort. State Govt is sleeping. Supporting BJP to stay in power."