Police deny permission for fast

At an all-party meeting, sans the AIADMK, it was decided to observe a day’s fast to protest the police action after the March 22 riots. However, as the police denied permission the fast was cancelled.

The police has declared that the drive would continue and all those involved in the riots and subsequent violence would be brought to book.

After police arrested 10 people in a renewed drive on Thursday in connection with the March 22 rioting and arson, leaders of various political parties met in Rameswaram, on Thursday, and decided to observe a fast in front of the municipality office from 8 00 am to protest against the police action.

The meeting was attended by representatives of DMK, Congress, DMDK, MDMK, CPI(M) and CPI among other parties, BJP national council member K. Muraleedharan said.

The meeting adopted a resolution, condemning the police for arresting innocent people and creating fears in the minds of the people, he said. The meeting, in another resolution alleged that the police action has vitiated the atmosphere in the pilgrim town.

Superintendent of Police N. M. Mylvahanan said police launched the renewed drive following indications of uneasiness created by some mischief mongers in the town. Denying charges that police were indiscriminately arresting people, he said only those involved in rioting and subsequent incidents were being arrested.

“After March 22 rioting, the situation was brought under control. We want to put an end to any minor incidents that may disturb peace. We will go ahead with the drive and take stern action against the rioters,” he warned.

The SP said after the town witnessed arson and rioting on March 22, police had arrested 65 people and remanded them in judicial custody. Subsequently, two more — Muthu Kalanjiyam and Muneeswaran — were arrested on specific charges.

On Thursday, in the renewed drive, police arrested ten more people and remanded them in judicial custody.

The SP said that Yathrigargal Sangam was trying to monopolise the Theerthavari job in the Sri Ramanathaswamy temple and this was the root cause for the trouble.

The Sangam comprised 400 people, hailing from Rameswaram island and they were preventing people from MRT Nagar from taking up the job. These people were mostly from Kamudhi and Mudukalathur and had settled in the island. There was a simmering difference between the two groups for nearly a year with the latter moving the court, the SP added.

  • In connection with the March 22 rioting, police had arrested 10 people on Thursday

  • SP says that the police will go ahead with the drive and stern action will be taken