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Shoot-at-sight orders in TN

india Updated: Feb 22, 2009 01:37 IST
MR Venkatesh
MR Venkatesh
Hindustan Times
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The situation in Tamil Nadu took a turn for the worse on Saturday as shoot-at-sight orders were issued across the state to quell stone pelting, arsonist mobs following three days of clashes between protesting lawyers and the police.

The Director General of Police KP Jain gave the orders as more cases were registered against members of the legal fraternity. The protesting lawyers had earlier burnt vehicles and damaged property across the state to demand action against “police excesses” on Friday.

Eight police superintendents and a joint commissioner here were transferred with immediate effect, an official press statement said.

“We have tightened security after the unsavoury incidents earlier this week in the high court and elsewhere in the state. No chances will be taken and any activity deemed remotely anti-national will be dealt with strictly,” Jain said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi sought to defuse the tension, urging both the lawyers and the police to work in a “spirit of unison” without creating any divide.

In a statement from hospital where he is recuperating from a surgery, the Chief Minister assured that on the basis of the CBI enquiry ordered into the violence, action would be taken against those responsible.

Mayhem had ruled the premises of the Madras High Court on February 19, as lawyers agitating on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, and police clashed over arrest of some lawyers accused of assaulting Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy in the court. A judge and many police personnel besides advocates were injured in stone pelting and subsequent police baton-charge.

On Saturday evening, DMK’s Youth wing led by Karunanidhi’s son M.K.Stalin, organised a human chain protest to express solidarity with the suffering of the Tamils in Sri Lanka and demanding an immediate ceasefire there.