TN: Police refuse permission for pro-Eelam meet
Chennai: City police on Saturday refused permission for a pro-Eelam meet called here on Sunday by DMK, forcing it to change the venue of its much-touted event even as the Centre did a U-turn, saying it had no objection to the word `Eelam` (separate homeland) being used.
On a day marked by drama, a single judge of Madras High Court declined to hear a plea by Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation, challenging the ban, citing security reasons.
The eleventh-hour refusal of permission by police came as a blow to DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, who is trying to resuscitate defunct TESO founded by him in the wake of murderous attacks on minority Tamils in Sri Lanka in 1980s.
In a change of its stance, the Ministry of External Affairs, in a fresh communication to the conference organisers, said taking note of their clarifications, they had no objection to the meet with the title of `Eelam Tamil Livelihood Rights Protection Conference.`
As the petition by TESO challenging the ban came up for hearing, Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar directed that the plea be put before Chief Justice MY 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.
Court sources said the matter would come up for hearing before a bench around noon tomorrow.
Awaiting the court order, Karunanidhi said in a late evening statement that the meet would take place as per schedule but the venue would be changed to DMK headquarters Anna Arivalayam if the court ruled against the event from YMCA grounds.
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