Chennai: People protesting the Jallikattu ban on Marina Beach had displayed pictures of slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden,said Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in the assembly on Friday.
Showing photos of the banners carrying Osama’s pictures, the chief minister said, “Some protesters demanded a separate Tamil Nadu nation, and there is photographic proof of some of them holding pictures of Osama. Some of them called for boycott of the Republic Day.”
Panneerselvam was replying to a calling attention motion moved by leader of the opposition M K Stalin on the violence in Chennai. Violence broke out in Chennai on Monday when police tried to evict pro-jallikattu protesters.
“What is the need for use of police force on people who were protesting peacefully,” asked Stalin.
Various anti-social elements and organisations had infiltrated into the week-long protest on the Marina with the intention of diverting it, said Panneerselvam.
“I promise that the evil forces behind the violence here on Monday would be identified and brought to book. The police used only mild force and acted only after information that some protesters wanted to prolong the stir till Republic Day,” said the chief minister.
He alleged that some of the groups wanted to show black flags and create disturbances during Republic Day (Thursday). “Some policemen sustained injuries, and many police vehicles were damaged by the miscreants during Monday’s violence,” he said.
“I can assure the House that action would be taken on police if the footages of alleged police atrocities are genuine. Teargas and mild lathicharge were the only defence of police while the anti-social elements used bottles with petrol and petrol bombs,” said the chief minister.
The chief minister recalled the steps he had undertaken after the protests broke out in Chennai and other districts on the jallikattu issue.
Soon after Panneerselvam finished his reply, Stalin wanted an assurance from the government that a judicial probe by a sitting high court judge would be ordered into the violence. However, the chief minister refused to give any assurance.
Protesting the government refusal, Stalin led DMK MLAs walked out of the House.