The city police have denied permission for the pro-Eelam TESO meet, convened by the forum’s founder leader and DMK chief M Karunanidhi in Chennai on Sunday.
The police have denied permission on various grounds but they cannot be divulged as the matter was sub-judice, Chennai Police Commissioner J K Tripathy told PTI on Saturday.
Sources said permission was denied on various grounds, including security implications, as a large turnout was expected than the venue could accommodate or the organisers had mentioned.
The police decision came late last night hours after the Madras High Court, during the hearing of two PILs opposing the conference of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO), directed the city police chief to pass a detailed order on the representation (seeking permission) submitted by the organisers and communicate the decision to them immediately.
TESO, a pro-Sri Lankan Tamils outfit floated by Mr Karunanidhi in the late 80s, was recently revived by him and its first meet was scheduled to be held here on Sunday with several leaders besides some Sri Lankan Tamil leaders expected to participate in it.
Both the Central and Tamil Nadu governments had on Friday submitted in the court objections to certain aspects of the conference.
The Centre told the court that it would not allow the organisers, including DMK, to use the word ‘Eelam’ in the heading of the international conference, while the State government said it may deny permission for holding the event as the chosen venue was not big enough to accommodate the number of people expected to attend it.
State Advocate General A Navaneethakrishnan said police permission may be denied as the YMCA ground was located near a government hospital, attended by over 3000 out-patients daily.
Besides, according to DMK party organ Murasoli, over one lakh people were expected to attend the meet with about 1,250 vehicles which may result in traffic diversions in that area, bringing life to a standstill in the city.
Reacting to the police action, Mr Karunanidhi in a statement here said that all legal steps would be taken for holding the meet as scheduled.
Mr Karunanidhi, who went into a huddle with his senior party colleagues to discuss the development, said the Police Commissioner’s order mentioned they had information that LTTE activists and other extremist organisations might take part in the meet and described it as “totally untrue”.
He said certain efforts were being made to thwart the conference despite the organisers making it clear that it was only aimed at taking up issues relating to the livelihood of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Mr Karunanidhi said they would approach “all judicial forums” and explain their position and seek justice. TESO would take a decision based on the judicial outcome, he added.
TESO FILES PETITION IN COURTS
The fate of the pro-Eelam TESO meet on Sri Lankan Tamils tomorrow hung in balance as a single judge of Madras High Court today declined to hear a plea by Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation, challenging the ban on the international conference.
Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar directed that the petition be put before Chief Justice M Y Eqbal for placing it before a bench on the ground it would not be appropriate for him to hear the plea as the issue is before a division bench.
The judge’s order came on a petition filed by TESO, which challenged denial of permission for the conference by the Chennai Police Commissioner, citing security reasons.
Tamil Nadu Advocate General A Navaneetha Krishnan told the court that the government has been getting intelligence reports and the inputs received “are highly explosive”.
In a revised stance today, the Ministry of External Affairs in a fresh communication to the conference organisers said that taking note of their clarifications, they had no objection to the meet with the title of Eelam Tamil Livelihood Rights Protection Conference.
“However the organisers are advised to ensure that the conference does not issue any declaration or outcome that calls into question in any manner the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of any foreign country with whom India has diplomatic relations,” the communication placed before the court said.
(COMPILED FROM PRESS TRUST OF INDIA (PTI) REPORTS)