In an attempt to discredit the Marina protests and justify police action against the protesters, the government of TN has put forward several theories, one of them being that anti-national elements had entered the protests. As proof, we were shown an image of a man on a bike with a poster of Osama bin Laden. TN CM O Pannerselvam even mentioned this on the floor of the house.
TNIE now reports that it has now turned out that the man was not a part of the jallikattu protests, and that it was from a previous protest organized by an Islamic group. The man from Otteri claims that the picture was taken in December, much before the Marina violence.
S Salaludeen, a 23-year-old working at a chicken stall in Chennai, confirmed to The New Indian Express that it was him in the picture, but he claimed that he had nothing to do with the protests in Marina beach and that he was working on January 23. He added that there is a CCTV camera in his shop that would prove that he was there from 9am to 5pm.
He said that the picture was taken in the first week of December, when the state unit of the Islamic organization, Indian National League, organized a protest against Centre for criticizing fundamentalist preacher Zakir Naik. “We wanted to send a strong message to the Centre against their actions. So along with a friend, a 27-year-old from Vyasarpadi, I decided to stick a picture of bin Laden on the bike,” he told The New Indian Express.
The Osama bin Laden picture had created a controversy, and it was said that anti-nationals had hijacked the jallikattu protest. It was also circulated on social media widely. Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and the police had highlighted the picture and raised security concerns. Panneerselvam also showed the picture in the assembly.
The police have however not filed any case against him.
Source: The News Minute