Police threaten violent protesters in Tamil Nadu of stern action

January 18th, 2009 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 18 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu police Sunday warned violent protesters of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) of stringent action, including detention under the National Security Act and shoot-at-sight orders, if they continued to damage public property to protest the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils.”Those damaging government properties will booked under the NSA. Officers have been instructed to open fire if needed to prevent miscreants setting fire to buses. The suspects arrested so far are said to be VCK workers have been jailed. More arrests are likely,” Director General of Police K.P. Jain told IANS.

“Though in some far-flung areas bus services have been curtailed, commuters’ interests are being taken care of. Buses are plying as convoys with adequate police protection wherever needed,” Jain added. Violence has primarily targetted state-run buses.

Over 80 people have been jailed in various parts of Tamil Nadu after 54 government buses were damaged in protests since Thursday, according to a police press release.

Six buses were burnt in three districts since Sunday morning, including one in the capital. So far, 54 vehicles have been damaged since Thursday in Cuddalore, Madurai and Villupuram districts and in Chennai, according to police sources.

So far, no one has been hurt in the incidents.

VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, who began his “indefinite” fast in support of Lankan Tamils four days ago, is yet to call it off despite appeals from various political leaders.

His discussions with party workers at the site of his protest in the southern outskirts of this state capital have so far been inconclusive.

The VCK is an ally of the state’s ruling DMK.

“(Leader of Opposition) Jayalalitha and the Congress have been speaking against the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Therefore, the Left parties and MDMK front and the DMK should exit the AIADMK front and United Progressive Alliance respectively,” Thirumavalavan told reporters.

Those who had requested Thirumavalavan to give up his hunger strike since Saturday include state Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veerasamy, PMK founder leader S. Ramadoss and several Left leaders.

The Congress slammed “the uncontrolled lawlessness prevailing in Tamil Nadu due to inadequate police action”.

“This uncontrolled lawlessness prevailing in Tamil Nadu is reprehensible and the police action to merely arrest and send a few to jail is woefully inadequate,” said D. Sudarsanam, the floor leader of the Congress in the state assembly.

“Those destroying public property have to be put down with an iron hand - which the state government is not at all doing, for reasons best known to it,” he added.

State Congress president K.V. Thangkabalu told reporters separately that the Sri Lankan Tamil tangle could be solved only by concerted action by parties in Tamil Nadu with the cooperation of the central government.

“India stands for the inalienable right of the Tamils in Sri Lanka to live honourably and safely. For achieving a political solution to the question, all regional parties must cooperate with the centre which alone can solve the long-pending issue,” Thangkabalu said.

Congress sources said separately that its 35 legislators would Monday deliberate on the violence in Tamil Nadu.

The discussions would be in the wake of attacks against its workers at the hands of VCK volunteers a fortnight ago, they added.

The Congress is the main ally of the ruling DMK propping up its 95-member strong minority regime with its 35 legislators in a house of 234 members.

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