Chennai police have booked Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Okay Annamalai for allegedly inciting violence and selling enmity between two teams after rumours of assaults on migrant staff within the state.
Annamalai known as the case towards him false and dared the Tamil Nadu Police to ‘touch him’ inside the subsequent 24 hours. “You think that you can suppress democracy by filing false cases. I give you 24 hours and dare you to touch me,” he said in a tweet.
பொய் வழக்குகளை போட்டு ஜனநாயக குரல்வளையை நசுக்கி விடலாம் என்று எண்ணுகிறீர்கள்.ஒரு சாமானிய மனிதனாக சொல்கிறேன், 24 மணி நேரம் கால அவகாசம் உங்களுக்கு அளிக்கிறேன், முடிந்தால் என் மீது கை வையுங்கள்!
— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) March 5, 2023
The BJP leader was booked under sections 153, 153A(1)(a), 505(1)(b) and 505(1)(c) of the Indian Penal Code, after he held the ruling DMK and its allies responsible for the situation.
In his statement earlier, Annamalai blamed the DMK and said the party’s efforts in “mocking” the work done by North Indians is the reason why the fake news spread so quickly.
“Since DMK’s origin, it has been spewing hate against a particular community. Since the DMK came to power, the party’s ministers and MPs have mocked (North Indians) in their speeches countless times”, he stated.
On Saturday, circumstances had been additionally registered towards an FIR towards a Twitter person Mohammed Tanvir, whose profile described him as a journalist, Bihar BJP spokesperson Prashant Patel Umrao, editor of Dainik Bhaskar and two social media influencers Shubham Shukla and Yuvraj Singh Rajput, underneath numerous sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for spreading disinformation and claiming that migrant staff have been fatally attacked.
Tamil Nadu Governor Asks Migrants to Not ‘Panic’
Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi on Sunday sought to assuage any apprehensions of migrant staff in Tamil Nadu within the wake of alleged rumours of some of them being attacked within the state, saying the folks within the state had been good and pleasant.
The staff needn’t panic, the Raj Bhavan stated in tweets posted in Tamil, English and Hindi.
“Governor urged the North Indian labourers in Tamil Nadu not to panic and feel insecure, as the people of Tamil Nadu are very nice and friendly, and the state government is committed to provide them security,” Raj Bhavan said on its official Twitter handle.
Panic Over ‘Fake’ Videos
The action came after several videos were circulated on social media recently claiming that migrant workers from the north are being attacked in the southern state.
The videos led to panic among migrant workers in districts like Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Thoothukudi, and Chennai, where concerns were raised with district administrations.
Following this, the state administration has started a concerted effort to reach out to migrant workers to counter widespread rumours of attacks on them. The Tamil Nadu DGP also issued a statement denying the reports of violence and slammed the BJP for raising a stink over unverified claims.
TN Govt’s Action
Later, Tamil Nadu labour Minister C V Ganeshan also issued a statement saying the migrant workers in Tamil Nadu are living safely without any threat.
The issue was escalated further after the Bihar BJP spokesperson Prasanth Umrao tweeted saying that 12 Biharis were murdered for speaking in Hindi.
Assuring that migrant workers are safe in Tamil Nadu, CM M K Stalin, also issued a statement that no harm would befall the migrant, whom he called “brothers who had helped in the development of Tamil Nadu”.
Stalin also “spoken to Nitish Kumar… and assured him that all the workers in the state are our own workers. They help us in the development of our state and no harm will happen to them.”
Tamil Nadu police also released helpline numbers 0421-2203312, 94981 01300, and 9498101320 for the migrant workers to get in touch with the district administration for any assistance. Further, control rooms manned by Hindi-speaking police personnel have been set up in several districts to render assistance to migrants.
What Did Migrants Say?
News 18 also spoke with some migrant workers in Tiruppur to know the ground relatives.
“I feel very safe in Tiruppur. Such incidents have not happened in Tiruppur and neither will it happen…I have seen the videos and it is clear that these incidents did not happen in Tiruppur. Whatever is shown in the video, there are no such places in Tiruppur. These are all lies meant to scare people. I appeal to everyone, not to get scared by this. Some people are going back to their homes after getting scared. But please don’t do that,” Sanjai, a migrant worker in Tiruppur said.
Speaking about the issue, Raja Shanmugam, who is the former Garment Exporters Association said “Tiruppur treats everyone equally and there is no disparity shown to anyone in the district”.
He additionally assured “that each one the migrant staff can be secure within the metropolis and that it’s the edited movies being unfold by the miscreants and significance shouldn’t be given to them. District administration taking all efforts to make sure the protection of the employees within the district.”
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