Political leaders in Tamil Nadu lashed out at the police action against anti-CAA protesters in Chennai on Friday night, and sought action against those police personnel who were involved in using force against the agitators. Hundreds of men and women from Muslim communities in Chennaiâ€™s Old Washermenpet area launched a protest on Friday. When police attempted to disperse the crowd, they resorted to using force on the crowd. Visuals showed protesters being beaten and kicked by policemen. The police action prompted a protest that went well into the night in Chennai as well as several others across the state.
DMK chief MK Stalin said the protests were being held in a peaceful manner and sought to know why the police used force to disperse them.
â€śI strongly condemn the EPS government's police force, which used violence against protesters peaceful protesting against CAA, NRC and NPR and made the night of February 14 a black night. This is an unruly administration that not only does not uphold democracy but also executes violence on those who democratically protest,â€ť Stalin said in a statement.
â€śLathicharge was done unnecessarily on the peaceful people for no reason and this prompted people across the state to take to the streets,â€ť he added, referring to protests that broke out across the state in Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Madurai and other districts.
Shortly after protesters were detained, more gathered, chanting slogans against the Centre and state governments. Meanwhile, Chennai City Police Commissioner was engaged in discussions with leaders of Muslim communities. The detained protesters were released after the talks.
Agitators alleged that police used force against them, including women who were reportedly dragged and beaten.
The Leader of the Tamil Nadu Opposition demanded that any cases in this connection should also be withdrawn and sought action against policemen who allegedly resorted to lathicharge.
Hitting out at the AIADMK, Stalin added that while the ruling party had voted in favour of the amended Citizenship Act in the Parliament, it was also not passing an Assembly resolution against CAA, a demand put forth by his party.
AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran also flayed the government over the handling of the protest.
â€śUsing force in peaceful protests amounts to stirring up a hornet's nest,â€ť the independent legislator said in a statement. He wished such incidents did not repeat.
DMK MP Kanimozhi said that a sensitive and sensible handling of the agitation by the police would have saved bloodshed & violence against the protesters.
"The JC North Kapilkumar Saratkar IPS mishandled the situation which led to violence. Mr Kapilkumar was the DIG when Thoothukudi firing took place. â€ŞHe is under probe by both CBI & a Commission of Inquiry. He should have been posted in a non-sensitive post till the probe in Thoothukudi firing is completed. Instead he is rewarded with JC (L&O) post," she said.
She alleged that Kapilkumar was "squarely responsible for yesterdayâ€™s violence in Washermenpet on innocent people should be suspended immediately and a probe ordered into the violence."
The Vaiko-led MDMK adopted a resolution in its district secretaries meeting, slamming the police for allegedly using force against protestors.
With PTI inputs