KALLAKURUCHI: A day after a protest demanding justice for the death of a girl at a Kallakurichi private school turned violent, PWD minister EV Velu on Monday alleged some anti-social elements, in the name of student groups, organised the riot.
Velu, along with School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, and Labour Welfare Minister CV Ganesan, visited the school at Kaniyamoor. Velu told reporters, "Our government under CM Stalin allows for democratic protests but this kind of riot is unacceptable. Rioters spread rumours on social media to mobilise people and create a bad name for the government."
He said the masterminds will be identified and severe action taken. According to police, in the past few days Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups were created in the names of various student groups.
Youth from various districts joined the groups which claimed to be for 'protest for justice'. On Sunday, a large number of youth came to the spot on bikes. Police and villagers claimed many seemed inebriated. Police are also using social media to identify rioters.
They are checking the social media of people detained and identifying others through them. "It's shocking to see many adding film songs to videos taken during riots and putting them up as status messages," said a cop. He said many took selfies next to damaged property and proudly shared them online.
Velu said, "As many as 67 school vehicles and 48 police vehicles were burnt. The mob also burnt certificates in the school." He said the district administration and police had taken appropriate action regarding the child’s death and met her family.
Despite this, they approached the court and this riot occurred, he said. "We will inform the CM of the parents’ demands and of the request made by the school managements’ association," he said. Anbil Mahesh said the school sustained major damage. "Officials will inspect the school and based on their report, action will be taken," he said.
"Based on the police inquiry, the school education department will take further action against management," he said, adding officials had already inspected five government schools and two colleges to which to shift the school's students if needed.
However, students and parents, who met the ministers, said their children wished to continue at the school. "My children are studying in CBSE. How can government move them to other schools?" asked parent N Saravanaperumal from Chinnasalem. Meanwhile, 108 alleged rioters were presented at Kallakuruchi court and remanded.