Tamil Nadu Leader of the Opposition, Edappadi K. Palaniswami and ousted AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam, have separately questioned Chief Minister M.K. Stalin over Sunday’s explosion in a car in Coimbatore and demanded that those behind the incident be brought to justice. [As of now, the police have maintained that the blast was caused by an LPG cylinder, though explosive substances were recovered from the house of the youth killed in the explosion.]
The two leaders severely criticised the law and order situation in Tamil Nadu under the DMK government.
“I insist on an independent investigation without any political pressure to find out whether this was an accidental blast due to the explosion of a gas cylinder or whether it was a case of sabotage. If so, [we need to find out] whether there are any anti-social elements behind this,” Mr. Palaniswami, the AIADMK’s interim general secretary, said in a statement on Monday.
Recalling his earlier statements in which he had urged the DMK government to allow the police to function independently, Mr. Palaniswami claimed the government was not allowing the police to be independent but was misusing the police force against the Opposition parties.
Mr. Palaniswami contended that Tamil Nadu had remained peaceful during the AIADMK regime and further charged that explosions have become a casual affair whenever the DMK government was in power, and they have been recurring.
‘Law and order situation deplorable’, says Panneerselvam
In a separate statement issued on Tuesday, Mr. Panneerselvam said the law and order situation in Tamil Nadu was still not in order, despite his several statements alleging that "terrorism, extremism, murder, robbery and violence were widely prevalent under the DMK government during the past year and a half."
About eight to 10 murders have become a casual affair these days and 'petrol bombs' (aka Molotov cocktails) were widely prevalent in Tamil Nadu recently, Mr. Panneerselvam claimed and further contended that the explosion in Coimbatore was only the latest in the "culture of violence" spreading in the State.
"If the Director-General of Police is visiting the site to review the situation, it has become clear there is more to it. Moreover, it only reminds us of the [Coimbatore serial] blasts in 1998 under the DMK government.
Also Read | Behind the 1998 Coimbatore tragedy
There need not be any better example to say that the law and order situation in Tamil Nadu is deteriorating," Mr. Panneerselvam charged.
He urged the Chief Minister to personally intervene in this matter to take proactive steps so as to protect the people of Tamil Nadu from those indulging in violence, as well as from terrorists and extremists.