Stalin detained for staging protest at Marina, DMK cadres held

Stalin detained for staging protest at Marina, DMK cadres held
DMK Working President M K Stalin was today detained after he sat on a protest at Marina beach here against the alleged attack on him and his party MLAs during the trust vote in the state Assembly.

Terming today as a "black day" for democracy, the senior DMK leader urged all those who wanted to "remove" the "anti- democratic" AIADMK government to join him.

After alleging that he was manhandled in the Assembly by the marshals on the day of the vote of confidence, which the Palaniswami government won with a comfortable margin of 122-11, Stalin sat on a protest at the Marina along with his MLAs.

However, police detained the protesting MLAs including Stalin. "It is a black day for democracy. This anti-people(AIADMK) government must be removed. Insisting that a peaceful protest is underway at the Marina. Those who want to remove this anti-democratic government should converge at the Marina," he said in a statement here.

Incidentally, the Marina had witnessed a week-long pro-jallikattu protests in January where scores of people, mainly youngsters had converged at the sands of the famous beach and agitated before it turned violent.

Meanwhile, several DMK workers blocked vehicular traffic and indulged in stone-pelting in different places in the state to protest the alleged attack on Stalin, police said.

In Tirupur, stones were hurled at the Avinashi office of state Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal, police said. DMK supporters staged protests in more than 10 places in and around Coimbatore.

Reports from Cuddalore said, government buses were damaged in stone-throwing incidents at Chidambaram, Virudachalam and Veppur in the district, in which two persons sustained minor injuries.

In Puducherry, the DMK cadres staged a road roko at near the bus terminus and raised slogans condemning the attack on Stalin. Thanjavur reports said, around 300 persons including former Union Minister TR Balu were arrested for burning the effigy of Dhanapal.

Similarly, picketing was reported from several places in Erode district, including Bhavani, Gobichettipalayam and Sathyamangalam.

In the letter to the Governor, the DMK complained about their eviction from the assembly and sought postponement of the session to enable a secret voting.

"The agenda of Speaker (P Dhanapal) is to go ahead with voting and announce that the Chief Minister has succeeded in getting the confidence of the House, in the absence of the DMK members. This is totally foul play and unconstitutional," it said.

"Therefore, we request the Governor to restore democratic values and order postponement of the Assembly session for conducting secret voting on the Confidence Motion," it said.

However, the Assembly was adjourned sine die after the confidence vote. Stalin noted that the party insisted on secret voting in the Assembly in view of the "fact that a number of AIADMK legislators were held as hostage in a resort."

He alleged "they were brought for voting under tight security and threat and that they will not be able to exercise their voting according to conscience and free will." He said DMK also 'pleaded' with the Speaker to postpone voting to a future date but that he had not obliged.

"The Speaker did not listen to us and tried to carry on with open voting. He adjourned the House twice. Therefore, we resorted to dharna in a very peaceful manner, but the Speaker ordered expulsion of all the DMK members en bloc," he said.

"The police entered into the Assembly Hall and removed us by using force, presumably under the instructions of the Speaker. Many of our members have sustained injury," he claimed.
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