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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Chennai: Police lathicharge anti-CAA protesters; 150 in custody

At least four police personnel were injured in the clashes, as they alleged protesters indulged in stone-pelting, whereas the latter rebutted with allegations of injuries to the protesters during police lathi charge.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Updated: February 15, 2020 9:48:22 am
chennai anti-caa protests, four cops injured in anti-caa protests in chennai, chennai protesters police clash, chennai police commissioner, tamil nadu caa violence, india news, indian express More than 1,000 women have now started a sit-in protest at the area. (Express photo: Arun Janardhanan)

Several protesters at an anti-CAA demonstration at Chennai’s Washermanpet area were injured when police resorted to lathicharge late on Friday evening. At least three policemen also sustained injuries during the scuffle. As many as 150 people have been taken into custody and police said they will be released later in the night.

More than 1,000 women have now started a sit-in protest at the area. Read in Malayalam

The protesters from various outfits said they were protesting peacefully in their locality when police intervened and resorted to lathicharge. “Many were injured, some were brutally beaten up,” said an eyewitness.

A senior police officer said the police force had stayed away from protest sites so far. “But this was an attempt to create a Shaheen Bagh model protest. We didn’t intervene until they declared that they will continue the protest. We tried to speak to them but it did not help. When arguments broke out, a few stones were thrown at officers. Then we had to forcefully evict them. There was no lathicharge, barring isolated cases when officers and protesters engaged in a scuffle. We will continue to handle all protests peacefully,” the officer said.

DMK President M K Stalin Saturday condemned the police action on CAA protesters.

Meanwhile, a 70-year-old man died after he was trapped during the stampede-like situation created after police used force.

While both protesters and police sources said the death had no link with the police action, the death triggered rumours, leading to protests at several other places in the city and at Madurai, Tirupur and Coimbatore.

chennai anti-caa protests, four cops injured in anti-caa protests in chennai, chennai protesters police clash, chennai police commissioner, tamil nadu caa violence, india news, indian express The protesters from various outfits said they were protesting peacefully in their locality when police intervened and resorted to lathicharge. “Many were injured, some were brutally beaten up,” said an eyewitness. (Express photo: Arun Janardhanan)

“As people started running fearing a lathicharge, there was almost a stampede. A 70-year old man from Sajja Munusamy street got trapped in the crowd, collapsed and died. We have come to know that he was in the hospital and had returned home only a day before,” said one of the leaders of the protest.

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