Tamil Nadu: Stalin Has A Law And Order Problem On His Hands, BSP State Chief Armstrong's Murder May Act As A Wake Up Call

S Rajesh

Jul 08, 2024, 06:06 PM | Updated 06:06 PM IST

The death of BSP state president K Armstrong has put the DMK government in a spot.
The death of BSP state president K Armstrong has put the DMK government in a spot.
  • Recent murders in Tamil Nadu have sparked outrage and questioned the state's law and order. The DMK's governance model is under scrutiny.
  • There has been a lot of outrage over the murder of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Tamil Nadu state president K Armstrong in Chennai.

    As a result, people, including those who would otherwise not have been critical of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government, have questioned it over the state of law and order. 

    BSP chief Mayawati has demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

    The DMK's claim that the Dravidian model of governance has made the state into an 'amaidhi poonga' or 'garden of peace' has come under intense scrutiny.

    However, for those from outside Tamil Nadu, who mostly hear of the state for reasons like its temples, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visits, the opposition to NEET or Hindi, it might be puzzling as to why is it that after this one incident, the entire law and order machinery is being questioned.

    The answer to it is that there have been numerous incidents during the past three years of this government, in which the state police has been found wanting.

    Very recently, functionaries belonging to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Pattali Makkal Katchi were murdered in Salem and Cuddalore districts respectively.

    When Tada Periyasamy, a leader from a Dalit community, was in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a group of unidentified people threw stones at his house and damaged his car that was parked outside.

    In another incident, P P G Shankar, who was the state treasurer of the BJP’s SC/ST Wing was attacked while returning to Chennai. Miscreants threw a country bomb at his car and when he tried to flee, he was chased and fatally stabbed.

    Supporters and members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its alleged political arm, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) hurled petrol bombs at the homes of leaders belonging to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and BJP after the ban on the PFI.

    While these incidents were political in nature, the hooch tragedy in Kallakurichi, where over 60 people lost their lives, is fresh in people's memory.

    Though that subject does not come entirely under the domain of police, it is improbable that such a large illicit liquor trade could flourish without the connivance of some police personnel. It is also important to remember that a hooch tragedy in the state has happened not just once but twice in the last two years.

    Further, the inability to monitor and nab Jameesha Mubin or his associates — who were part of an ISIS module, before he attempted a suicide attack at the Kottai Easwaran temple in Coimbatore, is also considered to be one of the failures of the state intelligence department. 

    The DMK government is also not seen as being effective when it comes to curbing the rising drug menace in the state. One of its party functionaries, Jaffer Sadiq, who was later expelled, was found to be involved in an international drug cartel. 

    Prior to this, the Naval police had seized Rs 360 crore worth of cocaine from a DMK councillor Sarbraz Nawaz and his brother, Jainuddin, a former councillor, near Rameswaram. The drug was to be taken to Sri Lanka by a fishing boat.

    Further, in the Armstrong case, Thirumavalavan, the chief of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi had even said that the real culprits had not been arrested. This shows that even a loyal alliance partner did not have faith in the action of the police.

    The fact that Chief Minister M K Stalin has not yet gone to Kallakurichi or the residence of Armstrong has also not helped the DMK.

    Thus, one can only hope that the outrage over Armstrong’s murder would spur the government to stem the rot that seems to have crept into the system.

    S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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