TN Cops Use Force Against, Detain and Release Anti-CAA Protesters
Multiple protests sprung up overnight after police lathi-charged anti-CAA protesters in Chennai’s Washermanpet area.
Multiple protests broke out in parts of Chennai on Friday, 14 February night, after police lathi-charged and detained anti-CAA protesters from the city’s Old Washermanpet area.
In a statement to The News Minute, Sahiya, a protester who was allegedly roughed up by the police, said, “When we refused to leave, they pulled us by the hair and dragged us from the road. When we questioned them, they carried us bodily with two people holding our feet up.”
In a statement to local media, police said that they had detained protesters and released them after urging them to maintain peace.
The reports of police action triggered more protests across the city.
Apart from Washermanpet, areas such as Kathipara, Guindy and Anna Salai in Chennai witnessed protests as well. Beyond the city, Madurai, Trichy, Coimbatore and Salem also witnessed protests following police action.
In Delhi, a group of people, including students of Jamia Millia Islamia, held a protest near the Tamil Nadu House on Saturday over the alleged lathicharge by the Chennai police.
Cops Refute Reports Of Man Being Killed in Police Action
One police officer, Vijayshanthi, was reportedly injured in stone-pelting and hospitalised.
Videos of the alleged police action in the area purportedly shows cops dragging and beating protesters.
Meanwhile, an image of a 70-year-old Muslim man who passed away during the time of the protest had also begun circulating on social media, with the claim that he was killed in the violence during protests.
The police have dismissed the reports as fake, and urged citizens to not believe them.
On Saturday, 15 February, Chennai Police Commissioner AK Vishwanathan met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to explain and discuss the lathicharge incident, The Indian Express reported.
Opposition Leaders Voice Anger
Opposition parties led by the DMK in Tamil Nadu on Saturday lashed out at police action against anti-CAA protesters and sought action against those police personnel who allegedly used force against the agitators.
DMK President M K Stalin said the protests were being held in a peaceful manner and sought to know why the police used force to disperse them.
However, BJP leader H Raja slammed the attack on police personnel, in which four including a woman Joint Commissioner sustained injuries.
"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.
Stalin 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, 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 TTV 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.
The Vaiko-led MDMK adopted a resolution in its district secretaries meeting, slamming the police for allegedly using force against protesters.
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."
(With inputs from PTI, Puthiya Thalaimurai, The Indian Express)
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