Erode (East) bypoll | Activists threaten black flag protest during CM Stalin’s visit

Members of the T.N. Environmental Protection Movement have alleged that following their highlighting of issues of land encroachment and illegal mineral extraction in Erode district, they have been attacked, but no action has been taken against the perpetrators

Updated - February 21, 2023 03:46 pm IST

Published - February 21, 2023 02:23 pm IST - ERODE

Representational image. File

Representational image. File | Photo Credit: JOTHI RAMALINGAM B

Stating that the Tamil Nadu government has failed to protect the lives of social activists who brought to attention to a case of illegal extraction of minerals, the Tamil Nadu Environmental Protection Movement has threatened to protest with black flags during Chief Minister M.K. Stalin visit to Erode on February 24. A bypoll to the Erode (East) constituency is scheduled for February 27.

In a petition submitted to the district police, the Movement’s coordinator and activist R.S. Mugilan said that government land in the Ekkattampalayam panchayat in Perundurai block had been encroached upon by the AIADMK’s union secretary, who had extracted minerals worth ₹16 crore.

The issue was taken up with Perundurai Tahsildar who is also the Executive Magistrate and proof was also submitted in November 2022.

A complaint was also lodged with the Superintendent of Police on January 4, 2023, demanding action. However, no steps were taken by the officials, the petition said.

“The hillock continues to be destroyed every day and despite submitting petitions no action was taken,” the petition said.

The petition said that P. Tamil Selvan of Chennimalai, who submitted the petitions, was attacked by a gang on May 4, 2022, and the police arrested a few persons, but failed to disclose details.

“No case was registered against the quarry owner who instigated the attack and the police are trying to close the case,” the petition said.

“We are forced to organise a black flag protest democratically during Mr. Stalin’s visit for the election campaign in Erode and a suitable place should be allotted for us,” the petition said.

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