Even as pro-Jalikkattu protests in Tamil Nadu took a violent turn on Monday, several policemen who spoke to TNM under the condition of anonymity, claimed that top officers from the department had attempted to convince agitators to disperse. The officers had met with little success.
One police officer in Trichy, however, managed to capture the protesters’ attention and convinced several of them to stop the agitation as they have achieved what they set out to do. And now, he is a social media star.
A video doing the rounds shows Deputy Commissioner Mayil Vaganam addressing a group of young agitators. The officer says, “When you got drenched in the rain, we did too. When you shivered in the cold, we did too. When you were standing under the sweltering sun, we did too. We didn't even eat as much as you did. That's how much we've stood by you. If you keep that loyalty, that emotion, that Tamil pride, that respect for the police in mind, you will disperse. I have nothing else to say,"
The officer also echoes statements made by the Chennai police commissioner about ‘anti-social elements’ joining the protest. “Youngsters should not become responsible for this protest taking an ugly turn. Several groups and individuals are trying to exploit this situation. Don’t allow this,” he says.
The video was captioned as ‘The final words of DC Mayil Vaganam sir. Protests in Trichy’. Towards the end of the video, the officer is seen walking away swiftly, even as several protesters get up, reportedly ready to leave.
Read the transcript of his speech:
Those who want to consider my opinion, and think it is ok to disperse, to co-operate with the police, to continue to be friendly with us can leave from here now. If you are adamant about staying on, I can't force you to do anything. I have been telling you since morning - this students' movement has won and found a place for itself in history. But if there is any untoward incident in Tiruchi district during this students movement - you will be responsible for the bitter emotions that follow, and the black mark that this movement will leave in history. Don't let that happen.I have love and concern for all of you. We have intelligence that some organisations and some students are misguiding this movement now, and this is why we're repeatedly approaching you for this. We didn't tell you anything for all these days.Why am I coming and speaking to you again and again? You're all young, but you've taught us all a big lesson and I appreciate it. At the same time, your experience is a little less than ours. As a person who is older than you, more experienced than you, as a person in a position of authority, a person who has crossed the stage that you are now at, I am qualified to give you some advice in many ways.This is an emotional issue that many people are trying to exploit. As a result of this exploitation there are problems happening in some parts of the state. I have reliable inputs that there is a plot for such mischief in Tiruchi as well. This is why I'm asking you (to disperse) again and again. Otherwise there would be no need for me to do so. I haven't spoken to you like this for 6 days. We've done everything you've asked for. We've given you all the protection you've asked for.When you got drenched in the rain, we did too.When you shivered in the cold, we did too.When you were standing under the sweltering sun, we did too.We didn't even eat as much as you did.That's how much we've stood by you. If you keep that loyalty, that emotion, that Tamil pride, that respect for the police in mind, you will disperse. I have nothing else to say.Thank you.