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Call for general strike illegal: State government

Special Correspondent

“All steps will be taken to maintain law and order on that day”

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday declared that the general strike called by the Sri Lankan Tamil Protection Movement for February 4 is illegal as per Supreme Court orders.

The Sri Lankan Tamil Protection Movement was launched by the PMK, MDMK, CPI, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Tamil Nationalist Movement and many fringe groups to mobilise support for the Sri Lankan Tamils’ cause.

Besides the general strike, the movement has given a call for black flag marches across the State on February 7.

The State government said it would take all steps to maintain law and order on the day.

“The government will also take precautionary measures to ensure that the movement of the essential commodities and the transport sector are not affected,” a state government press release said.

Citing the Supreme Court order that had declared general strike as illegal, the State government recalled the case filed by the AIADMK in the court alleging that the DMK government organised a general strike in support of Sethusamudram Project.

“But the fact remains that there was no total strike. Only fasting was observed,” the government clarified.

Accusing the State government of “spreading a false campaign against the strike by distorting the Supreme Court order,” convenor of the Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement P.Nedumaran said hartal and other passive resistance movements were organised in Kerala and West Bengal even after the court order.

PMK leader S. Ramadoss said the Supreme Court had made a distinction between general strike (hartal) and a bandh. “The hartal is a form of passive resistance while the bandh is a muscle-flexing act,” he said citing the court order.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Government Employees Union president K. Balasubramanian announced that his organisation would participate in the strike.

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