There are terrorists in TN, says Minister Ponnar

By PTI Published on Jun 23, 2018 10:53 AM IST

Nagercoil: Sticking to his charge that there are terrorists in Tamilnadu, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan said the Centre was ready to extend help if the State sought its support to rein in such elements, even as Ministers dismissed his accusation.

"There are terrorists in the State..Even Chief Minister K Palaniswami and a senior police official have spoken of this," he said, reiterating the charge he has been making for over a year that they have a free run in Tamilnadu.

Asked if the Centre would render assistance to rein in such terror elements, the Minister of State for Finance and Shipping told reporters, "if the Tamilnadu government seeks help, we will do it for sure."

Radhakrisnan's remark that Palaniswami has spoken about it is seen as a reference to the Chief Minister's views on action against anti-socials with regard to anti-Sterlite protests.

Palaniswami, citing violent incidents on 22 and 23 May such as hurling of petrol bombs and damage to public property, had said on 4 June in the Assembly that "are they general public? there were, hence, some miscreants and anti-socials."

He had emphasised that no government should encourage those who indulge in violence and anti-socials as it would lead to a big problem later.

Radhakrishnan, who in the recent past also expressed outrage about the killings of activists of right wing groups (including a Hindu Munnani leader Sasikumar in Coimbatore in 2016), stressed that he was also a "Tamil" and could not see Tamilnadu getting destroyed by such terror elements.

NIA is investigating the Sasikumar murder case. Rubbishing the allegations,Tamilnadu Handloom Minister O S Manian said Tamilnadu was the only State in the entire country which was peaceful and the only one where there was no scope for terrorism, extremism and separatism.

"In the entire country, only Tamilnadu is peaceful. It is a State that upholds law and order... this is the only state where there is no scope for terrorism, extremism and separatism," he said.

Speaking to reporters in Tiruchirappalli, he said Radhakrishnan was "a senior leader and a Minister" and appealed to him to be guarded in his comments.

Minister for Information, Kadambur Raju said in Kovilpatti that Tamilnadu was a haven of peace and that "there has never been room for extremism in the State ever since Amma's days (in power)."

On 20 June, Radhakrisnan had said, "I am confident naxalites, Maoists, Muslim extremists and extremist groups who promote secessionism in the name of Tamil have infiltrated many groups. There is a chance that they could have infiltrated the media also," he said.

The protests seeking nod for Jallikattu last year were a trial run held by terrorist organisations, he had alleged.

"Therefore, if Tamilnadu government doesn't act swiftly, the people of the state will face a big threat."

Hitting out at Chief Minister Palaniswami, he said if the former cannot act against such extremists, there was "no point" for him to continue in power.

"The Chief Minister should use all his powers to control the extremists. If (he) can't do so, there is no point (for him) in ruling (the state)," he had said.

To a question on the State witnessing many protests, including the latest anti-Salem expressway agitations, he said it should be noted whether they were mere protests or "were being held with some kind of a conspiracy."