Tamil Nadu

Cases against anti-CAA protesters, lockdown violators will be dropped: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami at an election campaign in Kadayanallur in Tenkasi District on Friday   | Photo Credit: SHAIKMOHI DEEN A

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said on Friday that the cases registered against those who had protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, last year would not be pursued any further. However, the cases filed for major offences would not be dropped.

He also said the cases registered against members of the public on the charge of violating the COVID-19 lockdown rules would not be pursued.

“This decision has been taken considering the well- being of the common man,” Mr. Palaniswami said while campaigning at Kadayanallur, which has a large Muslim population, in Tenkasi district. He also addressed a well-attended public meeting on the third day of his campaign in the southern districts.

Mr. Palaniswami said around 1,500 cases had been registered against the anti-CAA protesters. “Among these cases, except for those filed for preventing the police from discharging their duty and for specific offences, further action is being dropped...,” he said.

The cases had been filed against over 10 lakh persons for violating orders issued under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939, and the Epidemic Act, 1937, to enforce the COVID-19 lockdown since March 25 last year and for allegedly spreading rumours about the pandemic. The relief would not be applicable to the cases registered for specific offences such as illegally obtaining and misusing e-passes and prevention of policemen from discharging their duty.

Mr. Palaniswami said his government had withdrawn many cases registered against those who had protested against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. It would consider withdrawing the remaining cases, all in the stage of FIR and pending before court.

He made the announcement after the coordinator of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, S.P. Udhayakumar, and others submitted a memorandum to him on Thursday night, seeking withdrawal of all the cases. The Chief Minister assured the petitioners that he would look into their appeal and discuss the issue with the Director-General of Police.

In the petition, villagers of Idinthakarai, Kudankulam and Kooththenkuzhi sought withdrawal of the 105 cases pending against a few thousand villagers for having participated in the agitation at Idinthakarai between 2011 and 2014. In all, 349 cases were registered against over 2.27 lakh persons, both identified and unidentified.

Of these cases, 213 cases were closed, and action was dropped in 31 cases following the direction of the Madras High Court. Of the remaining 105 cases, the charge sheet has been filed in 37 cases at the Valliyoor court and the remaining 68 are still in the stage of FIR. Since 40 of the 105 pending cases have been registered under Sections dealing with sedition and waging of war against the state, the affected persons are in an uncomfortable situation. These cases stand in the way of the villagers applying for and renewal of passports.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 11:35:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/no-further-action-on-firs-on-anti-caa-protests-lockdown-violations-announces-cm/article33877956.ece

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