Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitaa Monday sent a tough message to PMK, warning that the government would not hesitate to ban political parties if they indulge in violence to the detriment of public safety.
She also warned of action against PMK leader S. Ramadoss for defaming the state government and the police department by saying that they were responsible for the violence, and not his party.
Replying to a discussion in the assembly on a calling attention motion on the violence in the southern districts of the state following the arrest of PMK leader Ramadoss, Jayalalithaa said: "The government will not hesitate to ban political parties that indulge in violence that disturbs public safety and damages public property. The government will surely take action."
She said political parties should strive for the betterment of the country and be an example for other organisations. She asserted that showing dissent in the form of violent activities was not acceptable.
"For the past couple of days, the PMK party has been indulging in violence, damaging public property and endangering the lives of people and preventing public servants from performing their duties. The government will not tolerate this," Jayalalithaa said.
She said the total damage to public and private properties will be estimated and steps will be taken to recover the same from the PMK.
She said as windscreens of government buses were hit by stones, helmets would be provided to drivers.
The chief minister said that despite coming out on bail, Ramadoss and his son Anbumani Ramadoss have been fomenting violence by saying their agitation would continue, and PMK men have been damaging government buses.
She said PMK men were responsible for the death of a lorry driver in a hospital from burn injuries sustained when his vehicle was set ablaze. She said the party was responsible for the reduction in bus services on certain routes, as a safety measure.
According to Jayalalithaa, PMK men were instrumental in damaging state-owned liquor outlets resulting in loss of government property, and also for cutting down around 165 trees to disrupt traffic.
She said 5,720 people were arrested as a preventive measure; 1,744 were arrested for indulging in violence and 20 have been detained under the Goondas Act.
Officials of PMK party were not available for comments on Jayalalithaa's statement.