Chennai: Describing the violence in Karnataka as "alarming", Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday wrote to her counterpart in the neighbouring state, Siddaramaiah, seeking protection to Tamil speaking people and their property, hours after he had made a similar plea to her.
Expressing concern, she said "hotels and properties belonging to Tamils in Karnataka are being attacked and damaged. This is an alarming situation and is causing considerable anxiety."
"I am concerned that the situation in Karnataka is serious with several instances of mob violence targeting Tamil speaking persons and their properties," she said in the letter.
Amid reports of escalating violence in Karnataka over the Cauvery issue in which Tamil properties including buses were targeted, she sought action to ensure safety for them. "I request you to take immediate and effective action to provide all necessary protection and security to ensure that no harm is caused to the person and property of Tamil speaking people in Karnataka," she said in her letter to Siddaramaiah.
She said, "the violence has escalated and a large number of vehicles, including more than 40 buses, 45 lorries and many other vehicles bearing Tamil Nadu number plates have been burnt and damaged." Stating that groups of protesters from Karnataka were regularly assembling at the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border near Hosur, she said they were threatening vehicles and commuters from Tamil Nadu.
Jayalalithaa said she was writing to bring to Siddaramaiah's "urgent attention" the need to ensure the safety and security of many lakhs of Tamil speaking people residing in Karnataka and of their properties in the light of the escalating incidents of violence.
Referring to his letter, regarding "certain incidents," in Tamil Nadu, she said "despite very provocative incidents that are taking place in Karnataka, absolute restraint has been observed in Tamil Nadu by all sections. We have ensured that no major incidents of any kind targeting Kannada speaking people or their properties have occurred."
Referring to the two incidents in Chennai and Ramanathapuram that was flagged by Karnataka, she said these were minor adding action was taken very promptly, cases registered and miscreants arrested.
"In any event, all precautionary measures have been taken and law and order continues to be well maintained in Tamil Nadu," she said. "The protests by some sections in Tamil Nadu, including by farmers, have been peaceful and lawful."
She said the Tamil Nadu DGP was instructed to ensure that law and order is maintained and adequate protection provided to all Kannada speaking people and their properties in Tamil Nadu. The DGP was instructed as soon as the directions of the Supreme Court on the Cauvery issue were received on 6 Septemeber and following telecast of violent protests in Karnataka by the media, Jayalalithaa said.