Press release issued by People’s Power in the aftermath of violent crackdown of peaceful Jallikattu protests by Tamil Nadu police.
Fight for Jallikattu: Symbol of opposition to partiality and reclaiming of rights! Conspiracy to divide people on casteist and religious lines thwarted!
Tamilnadu is under an undeclared emergency. The police persecution started on 23rd January and continues to this day. Hundreds of youth, common people, and students have been arrested, tortured and jailed in Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore and other places. Hundreds of police attack victims are undergoing treatment in private hospitals away from police eyes. Thousands stay away from their own homes for fear of police persecution.
The police highhandedness continues with the imposition of restrictions under section 144 in and around Marina beach, ban on posters against police, restrictions on speech criticising police and jail on false cases for campaign against police. Why so much malice?
People who were fuming against the continuous partiality against the rights of Tamil Nadu, thronged to the Jallikattu protests started by students in Marina. People gathered and protested in various ways in Trichi, Madurai, Salem, Erode, Coimbatore and in many other places. The ruling establishment was forced to enact Jallikattu act.
The students and youth told the political parties “You have failed the people. Your words can’t be trusted. It’s our job now. We don’t need any political parties or political leaders” and they stood steadfast in their fight. Central and statement governments could no longer blame each other, toss the issue to one another and cheat the people. The issue which had been dragged for 5 years was resolved in 5 days.
The government in Delhi has been partial to Tamilnadu in all aspects including denial of Cauvery water, Methane project, Nuclear plant, GAIL pipeline, new education policy, imposition of Sanskrit, NEET exam, Tamil fishermen’s killing by Sri Lanka, farmer’s suicide, drought relief and flood relief. Marina became the focus point of the historical fight by Tamil people affected by all these issues. Without the police intervention, a very large gathering of people organized itself for seven days and made the whole world notice it. The entire society of Tamilnadu rallied behind it. This is People Power.
We cannot trust these state structures and solve our issues. Because, the entire state structure has failed to respect and enforce its own laws and policies and thereby has lost its mandate to rule. After this protest, trader associations of Tamilnadu have decided to stop selling Coke & Pepsi products. Many schools and colleges have stopped selling them because of students’ boycott.
Starting from village watchman to chief secretary of the state government, all have become criminals and corrupt, the news in the dailies keep confirming this fact every day. From education department to customs department, many departmental secretaries are appointees of the former chief secretary Ram Mohan Rao. They were the agents collecting department-wise commission and sending them to Poes garden [Jayalalithaa’s residence]. This very government is illegal and is run illegally by the extra constitutional power centre of retired officers like Sheela Balakrishnan, Ramanujam, etc.
People are at a loss as to where to go and whom to complain. Their problems, and demands are not resolved and got aggravated. Jallikattu protest getting such a massive support is a sign of their despair. Casting aside caste and religious differences, people of all ages and gender assembled with hope and enthusiasm. Tamilnadu police disfigured the beauty of such a protest with acid attack.
As a justification for the attack they allege that the Marina was infiltrated by anti-social elements. Then what is the justification for the attacks in Alanganallur, Tamukkam and Coimbatore? Government dreads this peaceful protest for Jallikattu expanding to Cauvery tomorrow. The motive of the Police attack on January 23rd is very important.
Lathi charge, rubber bullets, stone pelting, tear gas, torching vehicles and market, torture and jail by Police should remain raw wounds in the minds of the people. The people should witness such barbarity. That is how they instil the fear of Police in the minds of the people. The police has seen enough enquiry commissions. “No one can touch us. No matter which party comes to rule, they can rule only with our cooperation” is their statement. No such police barbarities have been punished in the past.
It is to realize the goals of Modi’s government that the Tamilnadu police has unleashed the violence. The speeches of Police officers confirm that the Khaki has been dyed with Saffron. The eruption of Jallikattu protest as a fight for the state rights, the failure of the RSS-BJP attempt to divide the state on caste & religion lines, the attempt to destroy the Tamil culture, the significant participation of Muslims in the protest and the strong state-wide criticism of Modi were against Modi’s government in Centre. RSS-BJP could do nothing to destabilise this protest by infiltrating it. As a revenge for all these, they have let loose the police on Tamil people.
The current state structure has separated the people from participating in the political decisions and reduced them to mere spectators and voters. The centre and state governments have lost their right to rule the people not only legally but also morally. The police again confirmed in Marina that the ruling class and the police have become not only an unwanted elements but have turned a force against the people.
- The reason and the responsibility for violence on Jallikattu protest lies with the state and police. The judicial enquiry should be conducted and guilty should be punished.
- Release immediately all those who were arrested in Jallikattu protest. Give due relief for all injuries and property loss.
- We strongly condemn Tamilnadu Chief Minister and Police for their disrespect of the massive peaceful protest with their cheap allegations of use of Bin laden picture, call for separate Tamilnadu and naming popular movements participating in the protest as anti-socials.
- Revoke undemocratic imposition of restriction under section 144 in various places of Chennai; allow campaigns, protests and public meetings demanding justice and relief for the people affected by police violence.
- The enquiry commission declared by Chief Minister is not enough. The police guilty of violence should be prosecuted and punished. The higher officers involved in the violence should be suspended.
- The student community should oppose the revengeful persecution of police on the students, younth and common people who participated in the Jallikattu protest and the fisher people who gave shelter to the protesters.
1. Adv C. Raju, State Organizer, People’s Power (PP)
2. Comrade Tha. Ganesan, State Organizer, Revolutionary Student and Youth Front (RSYF)
3. Adv Saravanan, People Rights Protection Centre (PRPC), Chennai.
4. Comrade Karpaga Vinayagam, New Democratic Labour Front (NDLF), IT Employees Wing.
5. Mr. Vasudevan, Student, Pachaiyappan College.
Adv C. Raju,
State Organizer, People’s Power