The Centre has offered to share its intelligence expertise with Tamil Nadu (TN) government to tackle the rising number of protests and violence in the state. The offer comes mainly after violence erupted on the hundredth day of protests demanding closure of Vedanta Resources Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi, leading to firing by police on 22 May and death of 13 people.
Times of India reported that the offer for help was made by Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman during her meeting with TN state government along with representatives of the Intelligence Bureau (IB). The Centre is concerned over violent protestors creating trouble frequently on one issue or the other since January 2016.
While the central intelligence agencies were aware of some violent protestors planning to create trouble in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu police was caught napping as it had posted less than 2,000 security personnel to tackle a huge gathering exceeding 10,000.
The Centre’s offer comes at the back of opposition parties, Maoist extremists and separatist elements trying to create unrest on one ground or the other. These elements are also filling social media space with hate memes and messages against the Centre and the state government. Opposition efforts are primarily seen as those to pull down the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Government led by Edappadi K Palaniswami.
The Centre will help the state in identifying those bent on creating trouble, including those involved in Tuticorin violence and also deploy more IB personnel.
After creating trouble in Thoothukudi, these elements are now targeting the Centre’s Rs 11,000 crore Salem-Chennai highway project. Centre’s proposal to construct a Neutrino observatory in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district is also being targeted by these elements.
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