Tamil Nadu

Incidents in Washermenpet were instigated, says CM

The protests at Old Washermenpet continued for a fourth day on Monday. B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

The protests at Old Washermenpet continued for a fourth day on Monday. B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM  

‘Muslim community should reject false propaganda and acts of miscreants’

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday alleged that “some forces deliberately instigated” the untoward incidents in Washermenpet in Chennai, where a group of Muslims had organised a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on Friday last.

“Tamil Nadu has witnessed similar protests, demonstrations and rallies in the past, during which the police officers provided security and no untoward incidents were witnessed. This time, some forces had instigated the incidents,” he alleged in the Assembly while responding to DMK leader M.K. Stalin, who had raised the issue of police action against the protesters in Washermenpet.

Mr. Stalin, however, said the DMK was not satisfied with the CM’s reply, and led a walkout by his party’s MLAs. The Congress and other Opposition parties followed suit. The MLAs subsequently returned to the House to take part in the remainder of the proceedings.

Mr. Palaniswami said the Muslim community should reject “false propaganda” and “acts of miscreants” and cooperate with the government to maintain social harmony.

“The government of Amma (Jayalalithaa) will not allow anything that adversely affects minorities,” he said.

Pointing out that permission was sought on February 13 on behalf of 13 mosques to stage a protest against the CAA on February 23, the Chief Minister said that all of a sudden, 300 Muslims, including 200 women, assembled at the roundtana in Washermenpet and started raising slogans against the CAA, though they had earlier made it clear that they had no plans to stage a protest [on Friday, the 13th of February].

‘Defied advice’

“The police held talks with them and advised them not to protest as it would throw traffic out of gear. But they rejected the advice, raised slogans and resisted when the police tried to detain 40 persons. When the police put the detained persons in a bus, they smashed the windows of the vehicle,” he alleged.

The Chief Minister said the protest resumed at 6 p.m., following which a warning was issued as it was causing inconvenience to the public. “They were asked to disperse. But the protesters threw bottles, chappals and stones at the police. Rajamangalam Sub-Inspector Rajkumar and constables Udayakumari and Kala were injured. IPS officer Vijayakumari was hit by a stone,” he said.

Mr. Palaniswami said barricades were put up to prevent the protesters from causing damage to public property. But the protesters instigated the locals to push the barricades and the police. As many as 82 protesters were arrested as they broke the windows of the bus, the CM said.

He said the death of Fazurulla, an elderly man, due to natural causes, was distorted to give the impression that it was caused by police action, which led to further protests in Chennai and other areas.

Though an agreement was reached between the police and the leaders of various Muslim outfits, the protesters refused to disperse and continued to raise slogans, he added.

He said 150 persons had staged a protest on Monday, and the police had provided adequate protection to prevent any untoward incident.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 4:38:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/incidents-in-washermenpet-were-instigated-says-cm/article30846621.ece

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