Scores of pro-Tamil activists were detained at the Marina here when they tried to hold a memorial for Tamil victims of the last leg of the Sri Lankan ethnic strife as the famed seashore is out of bounds to hold protests.
Every year, volunteers from the ‘May 17 movement’ gather at Marina Beach to remember Tamil fighters and Sri Lankan Tamils killed in the final days of the Sri Lankan civil war. This year, Chennai Police had other plans
According to the Chennai City Police provisions, which is in force, Marina beach is not a designated place to stage protests and hold demonstrations.
Police had already warned that anyone trying to stage protests or hold demonstrations in violation of this order would be arrested.
The police arrived on the scene well ahead of the time announced for the protests, rounding up suspicious visitors to the beach. Those dressed in black in particular, even in groups of twos, came under the scanner.
“We have to follow this style detention. We were given severe orders that nothing like the Jallikattu movement should occur in Marina again”, an officer said.
“We have been remembering the genocide of Tamils in Lanka by way of a candlelight vigil for the past seven years. We will continue to do it,” said the movement’s organiser Thirumurugan Gandhi.