PFI Hartal & Violence: Tamil Nadu Police Warn of Slapping NSA Against Those Involved; Kannur Cops Raid 14 Shops

Amid continuing incidents of Sangh Parivar activists’ properties being targeted in the wake of NIA raids against the Popular Front of India (PFI), the Tamil Nadu police on Sunday warned of slapping the stringent National Security Act against those indulging in such acts. A release from the office of DGP C Sylendra Babu said investigation is being held in connection with various incidents of explosive substances being hurled at the premises of the members of “some organisations”, and 250 people have been enquired so far.

Without specifying the numbers, he said arrests have also been recorded in connection with the incidents. Similar fresh incidents — from Madurai, Salem and Kanyakumari — where unidentified miscreants hurled such substances were reported from the state. Earlier, the premises and vehicles of members of the BJP and RSS, mainly in and around Coimbatore, were targeted in the wake of NIA raids against the PFI earlier this week, with the BJP holding the radical Islamist outfit responsible for the incidents. Police said the miscreants hurled “kerosene-filled” bottles.

Another incident of hurling petrol bomb at the property of BJP functionary was also reported in Tuticorin district. The petrol bomb was hurled at a BJP functionary’s Omni bus on Sunday night, but it missed and landed on the ground.

The bus was ready for departure towards Coimbatore with passengers, but when it reached Tuticorin bus stand, an unidentified person hurled a petrol bomb on the bus.

On Sunday, the DGP said security has been beefed up in Coimbatore with the deployment of around 3,500 personnel from the Rapid Action Force and the state commando force, among others. “It is being warned that those impeding public peace through such acts will be arrested under the NSA,” the DGP said. ADGP (Law and Order) P Thamarai Kannan was camping in Coimbatore.

2 SPDI Functionaries Arrested

Meanwhile, two Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) functionaries were arrested on Sunday in connection with petrol bomb attack on the premises of BJP and Hindu Munnani leaders in Coimbatore. The arrests were made after prolonged technical investigation, intelligence inputs and going through CCTV footage from Kuniyamuthur area, City Police Commissioner V Balakrishnan told reporters here. The accused were identified as Jesuraj and Iliyas and after completion of interrogation, they will be produced before the court for remand, he said. Police are closing in two more accused involved in another two cases and will bring them to book soon, he said, adding that there is progress in other cases and also stoning a government bus.

Kerala Police Conducts Raids in Kannur

In Kerala, Kannur police is conducting raids in some shops related to the violence during PFI hartal last Friday. The police are looking to establish whether a conspiracy is at work, at the level of local leaders, to unleash violence.

Raids have been conducted in at least 14 shops in the city, mostly at shops of those arrested in violence cases, where they worked as employees or owned the establishment.

Hands of Tamil Nadu Police Tied, Says BJP

The hands of the Tamil Nadu police are tied and they are not able to function freely, State president of the BJP K Annamalai alleged on Sunday. Though he welcomed the DGP C Sylendra Babu’s statement to book under NSA (National Security Act) all those guilty in arson and violence targeting the BJP, Annamalai told reporters here that the police official should act and not merely issue statements.

The BJP leader said the hands of police were tied for the last 15 months and that has reached its peak at present. One cannot prevent the growth of the BJP by such attacks and the government has to face the wrath of party workers if immediate action was not taken, he said. He said that an agitation would be held here on Monday against the attacks and also sought to know why action was taken against complainants and not complaints.

However, the police have denied permission for the agitation. The BJP leader, on his way to Tirupur to see the workers affected by the hurling of bombs on the premises, said the party has formed four teams to assess the situation and damages. He said MLA Vanathi Srinivasan would head the Coimbatore team and reports would be submitted to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Annamalai said the steps taken by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin were not satisfactory. The BJP leader said he has spoken to Shah in this regard.

With inputs from PTI

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