Tamil Nadu Parties Slam Cops, AIADMK Over Action Against CAA Protesters

Protests erupted in parts of Tamil Nadu after the police in Chennai cracked down on anti-CAA demonstrators on Friday.

Tamil Nadu Parties Slam Cops, AIADMK Over Action Against CAA Protesters

DMK's MK Stalin demanded action against policemen involved in Friday's crackdown.

Chennai:

Parties in Tamil Nadu led by the DMK lashed out at the police on Saturday for using force to clear out protesters opposing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) a day ago, demanding action against policemen involved.

Under attack over the violence, the ruling AIADMK reaffirmed its commitment to the Muslim community and called the opposition campaign "Goebbels-like propaganda".

The police in Chennai made appeals against "provocative" messages on social media, while anti-CAA protests by members of the Muslim community continued in different parts of the state.

Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister R B Udayakumar said the "Amma government" had always accorded high priority for the welfare of Muslims and saw to it that they were not "even minutely affected" in any way.

Speaking to reporters in Madurai, he said Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam were "protecting the Muslims like their children and family members."

"Those unable to stomach this are unleashing lies and Goebbels-like propaganda, but that will not benefit them. The people will also not believe them," he said.

DMK President M K Stalin said Friday's protests had been held in a peaceful manner and demanded why the police used force to disperse them.

"Lathi-charge was done unnecessarily on the peaceful people for no reason and this prompted people across the state to take to the streets," Mr Stalin said in a statement.

On Friday, an anti-CAA protest had turned violent when a group of protesters clashed with police in Chennai, leaving four policemen injured.

The incident had led to 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 alleged police used force against them including lathi-charge.

On Saturday, Mr Stalin demanded that any cases in this connection be withdrawn and sought action against policemen who allegedly resorted to lathi-charge.

Hitting out at the AIADMK, the DMK chief said the ruling party had voted in favour of the amended Citizenship Act in parliament and had ignored its demand for introducing an assembly resolution against the law.

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T T V 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.

The Vaiko-led MDMK adopted a resolution in its district secretaries' meeting, slamming the police for using force against protesters.

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."

Meanwhile, Mr Viswanathan visited the injured police personnel admitted to a private and government hospital.

Later, he told reporters that he wanted to check if any public said to be injured in yesterday's incident had been admitted to the government hospital, but there were none.

Reiterating the need for peace, he appealed to the public not to share "wrong or provocative" social media messages, especially on Twitter and Facebook.

"People of Tamil Nadu follow peace and maintain law and order. That tradition has to be followed," he said.

Protests continued in parts of the state including here, Cuddalore and Ramanathapuram by members of the Muslim community, both against the CAA as well as demanding action over yesterday's episode.

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