TN becoming training centre for extremists: Ponnar

By PTI Published on Feb 15, 2018 12:23 PM IST

Coimbatore: Union Minister and senior BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan claimed that Tamilnadu no longer remained a peaceful State, but turning out to be a training centre for extremists.

Addressing a meeting organised by various Hindu outfits and BJP to pay homage to those killed in the serial bomb blasts here on 14 February 1998, he alleged Tamilnadu, of late, was "becoming the camp and training centre" for such forces.

"Tamilnadu is no longer the peaceful State ("amaidhi poonga")... Naxalites, Maoists, Tamil extremists and Islamic terrorists have joined hands against the administration, which was evident during the jallikattu agitation last year," the Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping alleged.

Stating that these forces were engaged in long-term planning for the next 10 to 20 years, Radhakrishnan said it was not known whether this had been brought to the notice of the rulers and the police department.

The massive agitation in support of jallikattu at Marina Beach in Chennai and elsewhere in the State turned violent on 23 January last year when police dispersed the agitators who continued the protest despite the promulgation of an ordinance for allowing the bull taming sport.

The Minister accused the State government of not allowing to pay homage to those who were killed in the serial blasts that rocked the city 20 years ago claiming 52 lives and leaving scores injured during an election rally to be addressed by the BJP veteran L K Advani. He also said the government did not allow erecting a memorial pillar.

Later, the police briefly detained around 900 activists of various Hindu outfits and BJP when they gathered at a little distance away from the meeting venue and attempted to pay homage to those killed in the blasts.

A group of Vishwa Hindu Parishad workers performed annual rituals at Perur, near here, for the those killed in the blasts, the police said.

In all, 19 bombs exploded in various parts of the city shortly before Advani was to address a public meeting at R S Puram locality in 1998.