TAMIL NADU

Congress stages Statewide blackflag demonstration

The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president, S. Balakrishnan (fourth from left), and the working president, E.V.K.S. Elangovan (third from left), with other party members hoisting a blackflag to protest against the Assembly action against members of The Hindu and the editor of Murasoli, at the Sathyamurthy Bhavan in Chennai on Monday. — Photo: N. Balaji

The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president, S. Balakrishnan (fourth from left), and the working president, E.V.K.S. Elangovan (third from left), with other party members hoisting a blackflag to protest against the Assembly action against members of The Hindu and the editor of Murasoli, at the Sathyamurthy Bhavan in Chennai on Monday. — Photo: N. Balaji  

The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president, S. Balakrishnan (fourth from left), and the working president, E.V.K.S. Elangovan (third from left), with other party members hoisting a blackflag to protest against the Assembly action against members of The Hindu and the editor of Murasoli, at the Sathyamurthy Bhavan in Chennai on Monday. — Photo: N. Balaji

CHENNAI NOV. 10. The TNCC today hoisted blackflags all over the State, protesting against the Assembly sentencing five members of The Hindu, the editor of Murasoli and the DMK MLA, Parithi Ilamvazhuthi, to simple imprisonment.

At the party headquarters here, the president, S. Balakrishnan, hoisted the flag. The working president, E.V.K.S.Elangovan, was present.

The Coimbatore East MLA, V.K. Lakshmanan, the Valparai MLA, Kovai Thangam, participated in a protest. District office-bearers termed the sentence "anti-democratic". In a statement, the president, urban district unit of the Janata Dal, N.K. Ashok Kumar, said Governments should learn to see criticism as an integral part of the democratic system.

Blackflags were also hoisted in Salem and Namakkal districts. The police arrested the Salem west district president, R.R. Sekaran, and 25 others for hoisting a blackflag opposite the Tharamangalam bus stand, near here.

The cadres raised slogans condemning the Tamil Nadu Government's attempt to gag the Press. The State secretary, K.V. Sushindrakumar, and MLA Kandasamy, participated. The leaders said the Speaker's decision to arrest the journalists was "an attempt to stifle the voice of the free press in democracy" and urged him to immediately withdraw the order.

Blackflags were also hoisted at Attur, Mettur, Kannakurichi, Omalur, Edapadi and Sankagiri.

The convener of the Social Action Movement -Tamil Nadu-Pondicherry, A.Renganathan, condemned the "police raids" on the offices of The Hindu and houses of journalists. Referring to the recent police raid on the premises of the Madurai-based NGO People's Watch-Tamil Nadu, he said the police resorted to such acts to "intimidate" the journalists and human rights watchers.

The executive committee of the Namakkal district, Viduthalai Siruthaigal, asked the Assembly to withdraw its arrest order. The Namakkal District Pensioners' Association president, T.K.Karuppan, said the freedom of press in a democracy should not be curtailed.

Krishnaswamy Vandayar, State general secretary, Thanjavur, hoisted a blackflag. Nanchi Varadarajan, district president, Hameed, town president and hundreds of workers participated.

The president of the Tirunelveli city unit and the advocate, Sundararajaperumal, hoisted a blackflag in front of the party's district headquarters at Kokkirakulam. Mass Communication students of the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University wore black badges and planned to go on a dawn-to-dusk hunger-strike tomorrow.

In Tiruchi, the urban unit president, Jerome Arockiaraj, and the rural district presidents, M. Rajasekharan and R. Perumal, hoisted a blackflag at the party headquarters.

Recommended for you