A woman stands at a door as a policeman comes at her with a baton and hits her. Another policeman runs to the same woman and targets her. A third raises his baton too but the woman rushes indoors. This is one of the many videos shared on social media, allegedly of Chennai policemen caught in acts of violence during their action against Jallikattu protesters yesterday.
In more videos tweeted by actor Arvind Swamy and others, a policewoman is seen setting fire to an auto, a group of policemen set fire to a row of auto-rickshaws and policemen repeatedly strike a two-wheeler lying on its side.
“Another video tweeted… forgive the bad language by the tweeter,” said Arvind Swamy.
Police themselves burnt everything and put the blame on innocent students and this is the proof. @hrw@UNHumanRights@news7tamilpic.twitter.com/tNZs5tp2HF
NDTV cannot verify the authenticity of the videos, which emerged last evening along with allegations that the police deliberately fuelled violence and blamed it on the people who had been protesting peacefully in support of Jallikattu, the bull-taming festival banned by the Supreme Court but brought back yesterday through a new law in Tamil Nadu.
One video tweeted by DMK lawmaker J Anbazhagan has women alleging that the police broke into their house and burnt down shops at a fish market.
“People were running, the police abused us very badly, lathi-charged us, behaved roughly…,”says one woman. Another alleges that the police broke her doors when no one was home. “How are we going to spend the night here with our two daughters? Why was our house damaged?” she says.
cop setting auto on fire in chennai
A video of a policeman setting an auto rickshaw was aired by some local channels and was widely circulated on social media.
Police chief S George, who had earlier called the videos “morphed”, has now said he will have the footage investigated. “An intelligence officer informed me that there was a picture of policemen indulging in violence. It is just ridiculous. We will find out,” he said.
The police say they have arrested around 40 “anti-social elements” for violence and arson yesterday, hours after thousands protesting at Marina Beach for six days were physically removed by the police.
The ruling AIADMK has accused rival DMK of circulating morphed videos.
Protests to demand the return of Jallikattu, peaceful over the past week, took a violent turn yesterday after the police forcibly removed thousands from Marina Beach, the epicenter of the Jallikattu campaign.