Escalating tensions: Normal life came to a standstill in Chennai around noon following incidents of arson and road blockade.
The Union Home Ministry said on Monday it was monitoring the situation in Tamil Nadu and would send Central armed police forces (CAPF) only if the State government requested assistance. As several anti-India posters had come up among the crowd protesting on the Marina Beach in Chennai, it had sought a report from the State government.
Violence erupted in Chennai on Monday when police tried to evict from the beach people who had gathered there to protest the ban on bull taming sport jallikattu.
Last week, the Centre gave the go-ahead to the State government to bring in an ordinance to hold the traditional sport. Even after the ordinance was promulgated, protests continued and a police station was torched.
“Keeping in mind the sentiments of the people and persistent demand from the State, the Centre cleared the ordinance in a day. It is for the State government to manage the law and order now,” said a senior Home Ministry official.
The official said an ordinance was always a “temporary” arrangement and the State should have made adequate arrangements to apprise the protesters about the long term plan it had for a permanent solution.
In a crackdown, police on Monday started evicting scores of pro-jallikattu demonstrators from protest venues across Tamil Nadu. Photo shows a scene at Chennai's Marina beach, which has been witnessing protests for the last six days and one of the main protest venues. Some protesters lined up at the seashore forming a human chain.
At Chennai’s Marina beach, the police action began early in the morning, with roads leading to the beach being cordoned off and police personnel being deployed in large numbers.
The protesters have been camping at Marina beach for the past one week, demanding the lifting of ban on jallikattu. Here, policemen are seen evicting the protesters from the beach on Monday.
The police’s action soon took a violent turn. They lathi charged a section of protesters who had regrouped at Triplicane near Marina beach. The protesters had reportedly pelted stones at the police personnel.
The police crackdown was not only restricted to Chennai. Here, police personnel are seen arresting pro-jallikattu supporters from VOC Park grounds in Coimbatore.
Meanwhile, in Chennai, the situation worsened. A section of protesters set afire vehicles that were parked in front of a police station in Triplicane.
Following the violence, schools were closed and parents were asked to take their children home.
A riot-like situation was prevalent in Alanganallur in Madurai on Monday.
One of the approach roads leading up to the Marina Beach is filled with police personnel.
Jallikattu protests on the Marina beach got out of hand on Monday after police attempted to vacate Marina beach early on Monday morning. One of the lanes leading up to Marina saw a pitched battle between protestors and the police during which the protestors burnt down a car. Photo:
An injured protester being shifted by police personnnel.
An injured policemen takes a breather during the violence.
A protester being forcibly evicted from the Marina Beach on Monday morning.
Another official said the Centre was gathering intelligence inputs on the causes for the peaceful protests turning violent in Chennai, and was in regular touch with the State administration.
“The State government has not made a requisition for Central forces. In case it does, we will provide adequate forces,” said the official.