K Palaniswami warns Tamil Nadu outfits 'instigating protests to make name for themselves' of tough action

Chennai:  Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami on Tuesday blamed some outfits for deliberately instigating agitations and warned that tough action would be taken if the law and order situation was disrupted.

"Some problems are occurring as a few outfits are wantonly instigating protests with an intention to gain a name for themselves," he told the Assembly.

Palaniswami's assertion came following Leader of Opposition MK Stalin's reference to Union minister for finance and shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan's allegation over the presence of extremists in Tamil Nadu and seeking the government's response over it.

File image of K Palaniswami. PTI

File image of K Palaniswami. PTI

On 22 June, Radhakrishnan had stuck to his charge that there are terrorists in Tamil Nadu and said the Centre was ready to extend help if the state sought its support to rein in such elements.

The chief minister said when compared to other states, crimes were less in Tamil Nadu and law and order was being maintained well.

He warned that tough action would be taken if protests were held inconveniencing the general public and if law and order situation was disrupted.

"If anyone attempted to act in a way disrupting the law and order situation, the government will take tough action, the government will not hesitate," he said.

Stalin listed several protests on issues including Kathiramangalam and Neduvasal (against ONGC over alleged bid to explore methane and in connection with some existing oil wells vis-a-vis leakage) and the proposed Chennai-Salem eight-lane expressway, adding, these were not a good sign.

Alleging that Tamil Nadu was on the "boiling stage," over agitations on such issues, the Leader of Opposition also referred to arrest of some people in connection with the protests over the proposed eight-lane expressway.

Intervening, Palaniswami referred to last month's anti-Sterlite stir and wondered what was the need for it when the government had acted ahead.

Such action against the plant was taken through steps including not renewing pollution control board's consent to operate, he said. However, the protests took place.

"Fearing that the government will get a good name, I feel that some party leaders were deliberately doing it (instigating agitations)," he said.

Such things were aimed at gaining political mileage, the chief minister said.

When Stalin reiterated his party demand for a Cabinet resolution against the Sterlite unit, the chief minister said there was no need for it.

The closure of the copper plant was valid and complied with legalities, he added.

The chief minister, speaking on arrest vis-a-vis protest, referred to an actor's remarks against the proposed expressway and wondered if it did not amount to the instigation of violence.

"No farmer or landowners were arrested," he said.

Actor Mansoor Ali Khan was arrested by Salem police days ago following his remarks that he would hack eight persons to death if the eight-lane highway project was taken up.

Tamil Nadu last month witnessed anti-Sterlite protests and in the violence and police firing 13 people died.

In recent years, the state has also been witnessing protests over other issues including last year's stir seeking approval for the bull-taming sport of Jallikattu.


Updated Date: Jun 26, 2018 22:20 PM

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