Anti-CAA protest in Chennai snowballs into chaos, four cops injured; Opposition, including DMK, condemn police force against agitators

  • Opposition parties led by the DMK in Tamil Nadu on Saturday lashed out at the police action against anti-CAA protesters in Chennai and sought action against those police personnel who allegedly used force against the agitators

  • On Friday, an anti-CAA protest by Muslims had turned violent when a group of protesters clashed with police, leaving four personnel injured

  • DMK President MK Stalin said the protests were being held in a peaceful manner and sought to know why the police used force to disperse them

Opposition parties led by the DMK in Tamil Nadu on Saturday lashed out at the police action against anti-CAA protesters in Chennai and sought action against those police personnel who allegedly used force against the agitators.

DMK President MK Stalin said the protests were being held in a peaceful manner and sought to know why the police used force to disperse them. However, BJP leader H Raja slammed the attack on police personnel, in which four including a woman Joint Commissioner sustained injuries.

"Lathicharge was done unnecessarily on the peaceful people for no reason and this prompted people across the state to take to the streets," Stalin said in a statement. On Friday, an anti-CAA protest by Muslims had turned
violent when a group of protesters clashed with police here, leaving four personnel injured.

The incident had led to sporadic protests across Tamil Nadu, including at Washermanpet in the city, where the violence erupted, but protesters subsequently called off the agitation, following talks with City Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan. Agitators had alleged that police used force against them.

Four police personnel — a woman joint commissioner, two women constables and a sub-inspector  — were injured in stone-pelting, the police said, even as reports emerged that some protesters were also hurt. Joint Commissioner P Vijayakumari sustained injuries on her head, the police said, adding that the injured were admitted to a hospital.

Earlier, some protesters were reportedly removed from the protest site forcibly, leading to a commotion between them and the police. The protesters accused the police of resorting to a lathi-charge.

Some of the protesters were detained. Subsequently, more people gathered there demanding their release. As a result, security was beefed up in the area.

Viswanathan held discussions with community elders and representatives of Muslim organisations, following which all those detained were released, the police said.

"An amicable decision was arrived at in the meeting with Muslim organisations and they have announced that the agitation will be withdrawn," a police officer said, adding that normalcy had returned to the area.

Stalin demanded that any cases in this connection should also be withdrawn and sought action against policemen who allegedly resorted to lathi-charge. Hitting out at the AIADMK, the DMK chief said while the ruling party had voted in favour of the amended Citizenship Act in the Parliament, it was also not enacting an Assembly resolution against CAA, a demand put forth by his party.

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dhinakaran also targeted the government over the handling of the protest. "Using force in peaceful protests amounts to stirring up a hornet's nest," the independent legislator said in a statement.

He wished such incidents did not repeat. The Vaiko-led MDMK adopted a resolution in its district secretaries meeting, slamming the police for allegedly using force against protestors.

BJP leader H Raja, whose party is an ally of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, slammed the violence against police personnel in the protests. In a tweet, he said, "rioters should be dealt with an iron fist."

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Updated Date: Feb 15, 2020 13:40:47 IST