CHENNAI -- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Friday said action will be taken against police personnel if found guilty of indulging in arson when the Jallikattu protest turned violent here on January 23.
The Chief Minister said terror outfits, anti-national forces infiltrated the peaceful protest by youths and common people at the Marina beach here on January 23, and were diverting the focus.
Panneerselvam also said protesters had posters of Al Qaeda terrorist Osama Bin Laden and placards with "We reject Indian Republic Day".
Replying to a question raised by Leader of Opposition M.K. Stalin in the state assembly, Panneerselvam said many political parties had complained about police acting beyond their legal limits. Some videos were also aired by the media.
"A detailed probe will be conducted into the matter and action will be taken against police personnel if found guilty," Panneerselvam said.
A video that went viral on Monday showed women and men in police uniform setting fire to vehicles and huts and damaging two-wheelers here, sending shockwave across the state. The police said the video was a fake.
The police on January 23 invaded the sprawling beach and forcibly began removing the thousands of young men and women who had assembled in support of the demand that the Supreme Court revoke its order banning Jallikattu -- the traditional bull-taming sport in Tamil Nadu.
This triggered large-scale violence in parts of Chennai, leaving many people injured and many properties damaged.
Narrating the sequence of the protests that began in Madurai on January 16, Panneerselvam said terror outfits, anti-national, anti-social elements had infiltrated the protests by youths, students and general public who were demanding removal of the apex court's ban on Jallikattu.
Panneerselvam said those who were spearheading the Jallikattu protests for the past ten years had called off their protest after the state promulgated an ordinance and the promise was made that a law would be passed replacing the ordinance.
However, it was the anti-national forces that tried to deflect the issue by raising several other new issues and preventing the youths and others from dispersing from the Marina beach here, the Chief Minister said.
He said the protesters detained several trains, affecting traffic.
Panneerselvam said the police had used minimum force to disperse the violent protesters who indulged in arson and rioting.
He also said action will be taken against the anti-national forces that tried to deflect the protest and indulged in violence.
In Chennai, 215 persons were arrested in connection with the violence and 66 cases have been registered.
In other parts of the state, 146 persons have been arrested, the Chief Minister said.
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