‘Jallikattu protestors should document violence against them’

Published - January 18, 2017 10:26 pm IST - Chennai:

With reports coming in that the young protesters against Jallikattu ban were treated badly by the police, civil rights activists have urged the police to exercise restraint in dealing with the protestors.

Arguing that the spontaneous nature of the protesters could have thrown the police off guard, V. Suresh, general secretary, People’s Union For Civil Liberties said that the protesters must document instances of police excesses just as the police video-graph them. “The spontaneous nature of these protests can easily transform into something else especially at a time when there is a political vacuum in the State. In order for the students to legally pursue cases against officers, they need to document evidence – in the form of videos or photographs – so that they can prove that they were protesting peacefully and it was the police that acted in an high-handed manner,” he said.

Former Madras High Court judge K. Chandru said that police always have different rules when bigger parties protest and when fringe groups or civilians protest for justice. “Usually, the force that is used against the smaller fringe groups is disproportionate. The police are mostly brutal. There are many methods by which Law and Order can be maintained but they are only interested in the use of force. They let loose the policemen on the protesters,” he said. He added that every record by the police in support of the action is created post-facto.

Prof. Ramu Manivanan, Head of Political Science and Public Administration Department at the University of Madras, said that the State government must have been proactive and their refusal to take the support of political parties reveals the distrust they have of the political parties. “The State government could have made an appeal to the court that the sport will be regulated. Now, it has gone out of hand,” he said.

He cautioned the protesters not to get consumed by emotions. “While it is important to preserve Tamil traditions and culture, one must also not rubbish the need for fair treatment of animals,” said Prof. Ramu Manivanan.

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