Difficulties in ensuring security for the expected large turnout, proximity of the conference venue to a government hospital and the possibility of sympathisers of the outlawed LTTE joining it were the among the main reasons cited by the Chennai police on Saturday for denying permission for the conduct of the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation meet at YMCA, Royapettah.
According to a letter issued by Joint Commissioner of Police (East) S. N. Seshasai to the conference president and DMK MLA J. Anbazhagan, ‘Tamil Eelam’ was the objective of the proscribed Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and there was information that LTTE members and representatives from other terrorists organisations might take part in the TESO conference. “This could lead to a threat to national security and public order, the letter said. The letter said the venue did not have the capacity to house over one lakh persons expected to attend the conference. The venue’s capacity was only 8,000 persons and accommodation of more would lead to a law and order situation.
The letter also stated that the YMCA ground has only two entry-exit points, one used by VVIPs, leaving only one for the participants.
Moreover, the traffic situation caused by the conference and the sound from speakers used in it would be a hindrance to patients at the Government Royapettah Hospital located opposite the YMCA grounds.
The Thousand Lights mosque, Wesley Church and cinema halls and shopping malls located close to the prescribed conference would attract large crowds on a Sunday and it would be a hindrance to public. Vehicular traffic will be thrown out of gear as main roads near the conference venue have been made one-way due to the ongoing Chennai Metro Rail Limited construction work. In case of over a lakh people attending the conference, more than 1,500 vehicles are expected to be present. The Wesley School grounds prescribed for vehicle parking arrangement would not be enough as it can accommodate only around 250 vehicles.