Chennai

AIADMK vows to take action against partymen harassing volunteers

Social media has been awash with complaints from volunteers who were bringing in relief material to flood affected areas. Here, a volunteer is seen rescuing a child in flood-hit T.Nagar. Photo. M. Moorthy

Social media has been awash with complaints from volunteers who were bringing in relief material to flood affected areas. Here, a volunteer is seen rescuing a child in flood-hit T.Nagar. Photo. M. Moorthy   | Photo Credit: M_Moorthy

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Facing flak from the public, especially on social media, for partymen hindering and harassing volunteers’ flood relief operations, the ruling AIADMK on Saturday said it would initiate action against cadre intimidating and threatening volunteers.



Social media was agog from Friday with complaints from volunteers who were involved in providing relief material to flood affected people in many areas, including Cuddalore.



Seeking to quash the anger building up on social media, the party said volunteers facing any problems from AIADMK cadre while undertaking relief operations can call and register their complaints on the following phone numbers.



Call these numbers for complaints



044-28130787, 044-28132266, 044-28133510.



“They can also send their complaints via email to info@aiadmk.com, tweet to @aiadmkofficial,” the official said. Volunteers have been asked to take videos or record audio if they were being prevented from relief operations by party men, the official added.

The party official however refuted charges that party members were indulging in such activities. "People have been paid to do this kind of activity to defame the government. Yesterday, we caught one group red-handed. This is mass mischief to discredit the government. Where pictures of the Chief Minister is used on relief material, it is the official relief that is being distributed by the government".



A number of volunteers had complained that the party men had stopped vehicles carrying relief materials including food and medicines and forced them to paste pictures of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on the stock before allowing them to proceed for distribution.



At some places, partymen tried to force volunteers to hand over their relief material to them.



The Hindu spoke to a volunteer who has been coordinating relief operations in Cuddalore. “Today morning, some AIADMK cadre blocked our vehicles carrying medicines and food to Cuddalore. They initially asked us to hand over the relief material to them so that they could take credit for the work we were doing. They backed off after we insisted that we will do it ourselves. But there are other teams where AIADMK cadre have forcibly stuck pictures of Jayalalithaa on the relief material,” he said.



“As more and more complaints come in, people who want to contribute and send relief material are now reluctant to do so. A couple of big business houses in Bengaluru were ready to send clothes and other relief material. After news of such harassment spread, they are now in two minds,” he added.

Another complaint was received about AIADMK cadre not allowing relief materials to enter Padikuppam till the minister arrived. The Hindu is in the process of verifying this complaint.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 10:10:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-floods-aiadmk-vows-to-take-action-against-partymen-harassing-volunteers/article7952089.ece

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