Take Action Against DSP Pandiarajan for slapping a woman silent protestor against TASMAC
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As spontaneous protests erupted across Tamil Nadu against locating of tasmac liquor shops near residential areas, a brutal police attack on women peacefully demonstrating at Tirupur sent shock waves on Monday. The state government has been relocating the tasmac shops that were closed down on April 1 following the Supreme Court order to shut liquor outlets within 500 metres of highways. There have been several public protests at various places since then with people, particularly women, taking to the streets against liquor shops being set up near their places. The agitations are growing in numbers and intensity even as the government is found inept in handling the rising heat.
Even as the videos of police attack in Tirupur went viral—particularly the visuals of a bald DSP slapping a woman peacefully demonstrating—almost all the political leaders and human rights organisations condemned the brutality and demanded stern action against the concerned officials. “The government should immediately suspend DSP Pandiarajan and arrest him for hitting the woman protester in Tirupur. This should teach a lesson to the policemen who have been drawing blood beating up people peacefully agitating against tasmac shops”, said DMK leader M. K. Stalin.
“Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami should respect public sentiments and these democratic agitations. He should give up opening liquor shops in residential areas”, he said. PMK leader Dr S. Anbumani Ramadoss, the forerunner in the war against liquor, also demanded action against DSP Pandiarajan and warned the government to give up moves to relocate tasmac shops that had been closed after the SC order in public places. “The government should act wisely before a people’s revolution erupts again against liquor”, said the Lok Sabha Member.
CPI state secretary R. Mutharasan and Marxist secretary G. Ramakrishnan too made similar statements condemning the police brutality in Tirupur and demanding that the government abort its tasmac relocation plans. Interestingly, local AIADMK legislator R. Kanagarajaj (belongs to Sasikala group) visited the agitation spot in Tirupur and announced he would resign from the Assembly if a tasmac shop came up there.
As the anti-tasmac agitators resorted to different tactics in various places in the state, five women protesters at Alanganatham in Namakkal climbed a difficult ladder to reach the top of the community water tank and raise slogans against the opening of tasmac shop. Women in Sivagangai did something even more dangerous; they climbed on to a massive HT electricity tower to show their anger. Police at Tirupathur near Vellore registered cases against local DMK legislator Nallathambi and 19 others for allegedly destroying stocks in a tasmac shop there Monday morning.
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