Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Threatens Hunger Strike Over Lawyer Police Clashes

The fallout from the riots last week at the Chennai Inns of court is beginning to mount up in India

NDTV in India is reporting that although the Madras High Court has set up a committee of five judges and some advocates to analyse the situation arising out of the police-lawyer clashes on February 19 lawyers have refused to heed the chief justices’ call to get back to work and have said that they will abstain from coming to court till action is taken against police officials.

The Bar Council also met in Delhi on Sunday and have decided to observe February 27 as Black Day throughout the country.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike in hospital if lawyers and the police don’t reach a compromise.

The Hindu Newspaper also reports that the protests have spread throughout Tamil Nadu..and writes

Members of the Madurai Bar Association on Monday burnt an effigy of Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy holding him responsible for the clashes between lawyers and police in Chennai last week.

A group of 50 members of the Association also burnt an effigy of Madurai DIG Krishnamoorthy condemning his reported threat to lawyers during a protest here last week.

The effigies were burnt outside the District Court.

Meanwhile, seven students of the Madurai Law college were detained for attempting to observe indefenite fast demanding action against Krishnamoorthy and condemning the police lathicharge in Chennai.

A Coimbatore report said that a group of lawyers staged a demonstration in front District Court complex demanding immediate reopening of courts.

They also demanded action against Subramanian Swamy and also senior police officials responsible for the attack on lawyers in Chennai.

In Cuddalore, a group of lawyers held a protest in front of the distrct court demanding judicial inquiry into the High Court violence in Chennai.


Indian Blog The Acorn blasts the media for not distinguishing the fact that the lawyers protests are politically motivated

Rioting lawyers are rioters
Watch out for the LTTE’s mischief in Tamil Nadu

The LTTE leadership probably calculates that destabilising Tamil Nadu by inciting widespread political violence will serve its interests. If you think that lawyers in the Madras High Court turned into violent mobs, torched police stations and got into street battles with riot police just like that, think again. Political violence doesn’t work that way. It is a deliberate attempt to spark off widespread violence across the state, disrupt internal order, divert the resources of the law enforcement machinery and create tactical space (in both the political and security sense) for the LTTE. In this, the media has played the usual role of sensationalising the entire issue and brazenly projecting a “neutral” morally equivalent perspective between those who broke the law and those who enforced the law.

As for police brutality—the Chennai police did not act with any greater harshness than is the norm. Those norms are not pretty. Those norms must change. But our shock and disapproval of the norms of riot control in India should not get in the way of repudiating the moral equivalence. The media coverage benefits the law breakers, and the law breakers know this.

Both the UPA government in New Delhi and the DMK government in Chennai must do whatever is necessary to control, deter and punish political violence. As the principal opposition party, the BJP must unambiguously signal its support for actions towards this end, and hold the governments to account. For their part, the LTTE’s supporters and their opponents should be welcome to pursue their agenda without resorting to violence. The next few weeks will test Tamil Nadu’s political and social stability: Indians should realise that there is a foreign hand behind the ugly scenes they see on TV.

Other Relevant Articles:

Lawyers refuse to end stir, want cops suspended
CJI stressed on the need to end the strike and avoid harassment of litigants, the state’s advocate associations reiterated that their members would continue to abstain from courts till top officials, including the director-general and Chennai city commissioner of police, are placed under suspension for their role in the clashes between lawyers and policemen on the Madras High Court campus.

Times of India  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Lawyers-refuse-to-end-stir-want-cops-suspended/articleshow/4172676.cms

It is judiciary versus executive in Tamil Nadu
New Delhi, February 22 (CNN-IBN): The tussle between the police and lawyers in Chennai has turned into a face-off between the judiciary and the executive in Tamil Nadu. The Madras High Court has issued a notice to the state government seeking compensation for damages caused in Friday’s violence. The Chief Justice of the Madras HC has asked the government why they shouldn’t be made to compensate for damages caused to the court during the lawyers’ protests. The HC has also ordered the closure of all courts in Tamil Nadu. “It’s a clear case of breach of constitutional principles. The state has to restore the situation instead of putting the blame on the lawyers,” a lawyer in Chennai said.
However, Commissioner of Chennai K Radhakrishnan said, “Some lawyers wanted to stay inside the High Court campus. They refused to move out. Then, we made an announcement through public address system that on the direction of Chief Justice of the High Court, they should vacate the campus immediately and they moved out in sometime. We will be keeping campus in our control until further orders of Chief Justice. We want to maintain law and order.”

The Morning Express  http://www.morungexpress.com/national/15009.html