Hardly four days after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin claimed in the state assembly that ‘the state is a haven of peace’, on April 25, smugglers murdered a village administrative officer Y Lourdu Francis in Thoothukudi district. The Government’s announcement of Rs 1 crore, compensation to his family showed its minority appeasement intentions.
Village Administrative Officer Lourth Francis (55) was allegedly hacked to death in broad daylight inside his office by the sand mafia in Murapanadu in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu on April 25 2023. He was killed reportedly for opposing the illegal transportation of sand from the locality. He had recently alerted the district administration and the police about illegal mining activities in and around the village.
Police said around 12.30 pm when the Village Administrative Officer was back in his office after a crop review survey in a village when Ramasubbu and his relative Marimuthu attacked him with sickles before fleeing. Lourdu Francis, who was injured on the head, was rushed to hospital, where he died. They said on April 13, the Village Administrative Officer filed a complaint against Ramasubbu for smuggling sand from the Thamirabharani River in the district.
On hearing the killing of a Government servant by sand smugglers, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore to his family besides a job for a close relative considering his dedication in the line of duty.
Political commentator Priya Venkat says there are two things: “the quantum of compensation to the kin of family of slain Lourdu Francis and CM’s claim of peaceful state have exposed his Government love for the community and empty hallow tomtoms”.
While speaking at the State Assembly, CM Stalin claimed that his Dravidian model of Governance had prevented caste conflicts, communal violence, police shooting, hooch tragedies, train robberies, burglaries and industrial protests. He said, “law and order that was neglected under the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) tenure has been established now. Our Tamil Nadu is a state where everyone likes to come and and live. It is a haven of peace”.
But the ground reality is quite the opposite.” Gun culture, hacking of opponents in daylight, Chennai turning into capital of ganja, crime against women, snatching of chain, mobile, daily seizure of drugs of various kinds, extortion of money and kind from shop owners by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) men, murders for gain, Coimbatore terror attack are telling tale evidence of worsening law and order” point Priya.
The blatantly biased nature of announcing huge compensation proves once again its special love of minorities. It is worth noting that CM Stalin had announced just Rs 20 lakh for the family of D Lakshmanan, the deceased army personnel, who died in the terrorist attack in Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2022. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, on April 17, announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs each to the kin of two persons from the state who were killed in a fire incident in Dubai. According to a statement released by Tamil Nadu Government, the deceased were identified as Imam Kasim (43) and S Mohammed Rafiq (49) – both residents of Kallakurichi. They died on foreign soil while going for employment.
Both the DMK and AIADMK have special consideration for minority communities in giving compensation and offering jobs. They did not show the same if it happened to Hindus or military men who died in action. Five social workers, aged between 23 and 26, recently drowned in a tank while attending a temple festival in Chennai. Tamil Nadu Government has announced a solatium of Rs 2 lakh for each family.
In connection with the alleged custodial deaths of the father-son duo, the then AIADMK in Tamil Nadu has announced an additional Rs 25 lakh to be given to the family of P Jayaraj and his son J Benicks, who died of alleged custodial torture in Thoothukudi district. This is in addition to the Rs 20 lakh handed over by the AIADMK-led State Government as financial assistance compensation to the next of kin of the father-son duo. Thoothukudi Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi met the bereaved family members and handed over a cheque for Rs 25 lakh on behalf of DMK chief MK Stalin and assured the family of the party’s complete support. P Jayaraj (59) and his son J Benicks (31) were arrested on June 19 and lodged in Kovilpatti sub-jail for keeping their mobile phone shop in the Sathankulam main bazaar area open during the curfew imposed during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020.
In another incident, Sujith Wilson, the two-year-old, lost his life after falling into an abandoned 600 feet uncovered borewell on October 25, 2019, at Manapparai. His father, Britto Arogiyaraj, did not take enough precautions in properly closing. TV channels madd a live telecast spring of the Diwali celebration of Hindus.
But then CM Edapadi personally visited the bereaved family and assured them that his Government would grant compensation of Rs10 lakh and AIADMK would grant Rs10 lakh. The victim’s family was offered a Government job besides raise of compensation to one crore. DMK also gave Rs 10 lakhs.
The Tamil Nadu Government announced a solatium of Rs one crore to the family of Special Sub-inspector Wilson, who was shot dead by two persons at a state checkpost bordering Kerala in January 2020.
“Life is precious and immaterial whether it is Hindu or Muslim, Christian or Sikh, as the Dravidian parties claim they are secular. Dravidians Governments play politics in death also, if the above is any indication.