HC permits holding of TESO meet

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Bringing an eleventh hour relief to DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, the Madras High Court on Sunday permitted holding of the much-hyped pro-Eelam TESO meet called by him here this afternoon.

At a special sitting on Sunday, a division bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M. Venugopal stayed the order of the Chennai Police Commissioner, declining permission to the organisers to hold the meeting at YMCA grounds here.

Citing security reasons, city police had on Saturday refused permission, forcing DMK to change the venue to its party headquarters Anna Arivalayam, instead of YMCA grounds.

TESO had challenged the police action in the High Court, where a single judge had on Saturday declined to hear its plea after which the matter was placed before a division bench, which held a special sitting this afternoon.

The last minute refusal of police permission had come as a blow to the DMK patriarch, who is trying to breathe life into the defunct TESO founded by him in the wake of murderous attacks on minority Tamils in Sri Lanka in the 1980s.

The Centre had also done a U-turn yesterday when it told the court that it had no objection to the word 'Eelam' (separate homeland) being used in the title of the meet.

The police ban came after the Centre and the Jayalalithaa government raised certain objections in the court on Friday, particularly to use of the word 'Eelam' (separate homeland for Tamils) in the meet's title.

The Ministry of External Affairs in its communication to TESO placed before the court, however, changed its position yesterday while asking the organisers to ensure the meet does not issue any declaration or outcome calling into question the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of any foreign country with whom India has diplomatic relations.

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