Troublemakers at Marina were against R Day fete: Police

Troublemakers at Marina were against R Day fete: Police

The "anti-social elements" who infiltrated the peaceful students' protest for jallikattu did not want Republic Day celebrations to be held on the Marina beach, a senior police official claimed today.

"Their whole idea was that Republic Day celebrations should not be held. Yesterday it was held successfully," Additional Police Commissioner S N Seshasai said.

Traditionally, Republic and Independence Day celebrations and rehearsals for the parade are conducted in the Marina beach vicinity.

"Such anti-social elements reacted violently as their idea to somehow hold on to their protest was foiled. They felt defeated when about 3,000 student-protesters who continued to stay put even after an ordinance was promulgated left the venue, heeding an appeal by police," he told reporters here.

These people instigated trouble from the nearby areas including Nadukuppam and Mattankuppam, he said. "We did not have any problems in dispersing the students, problem was related to a group on the beach (who were not students) and another which supported it from outside," he said.

A total of 245 people have been arrested in connection with the violence on January 23 and more than 100 have also been identified and they would be apprehended soon. Those who had abetted troublemakers would also be arrested.

He said anti-social elements that had infiltrated the congregation alone wanted to create trouble and indulge in violence and not students.

"We have got videos to show how violence was unleashed in the fish market area in Nadukuppam (by arsonists) and we are producing this in court," he said, adding the department was also in possession of evidence of boulders, and stones being flung on its personnel.

Many affected persons were police personnel who sustained injuries inflicted by anti-social elements masquerading as protesters and only minimum force was used, he said.

On the video footage which purportedly showed two police personnel allegedly indulging in torching incidents, he said, "magnifying this is wrong, aberrations may have been there." "Based on that, it is wrong to paint the entire police department with the same brush."

He, however, said the cyber cell was looking into the allegations and their veracity.
He said 7,000 to 10,000 police personnel were deployed to tackle the violence on January 23.

Answering a question related to allegations of police excesses, he said police personnel did not even carry lathis to disperse the students. "We were talking in friendly terms. Since protesters were students we did not even carry lathis or protective gear," he said and added that the problem began after 10 am on January 23 when vehicles were burnt at the Ice House Police Station by anti-social elements

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