Pro-LTTE hunger striker tucks into burgers
The Daily Mail, UK reported that during weeks of protest in London
early this year Parameswaran Subramaniyan lay in a tent outside the
Houses of Parliament as Tamils protested about the alleged plight of
relatives under attack in Sri Lanka. At one stage, his supporters
claimed he was 'critically weak'.Scotland Yard surveillance teams using
specialist monitoring equipment had watched in disbelief as he tucked
into the clandestine deliveries.Scotland Yard made no official comment
but senior sources said police decided against dragging the bogus hunger
striker out of his tent for fear it would start a riot, the Daily Mail
Hunger striker's £7m Big Mac: Tamil who cost London a fortune in
policing was sneaking in fast-foodHe was the hunger striker at the
centre of one of the longest-running demonstrations ever mounted in
Britain.For weeks Parameswaran Subramaniyan lay in a tent outside the
Houses of Parliament as Tamils protested about the plight of relatives
under attack in Sri Lanka.
At one stage, his supporters claimed he was 'critically weak'.Tamil
takeaways: 'Hunger striker' Parameswaran Subramaniyan, sitting outside
the Houses of Parliament, secretly ate McDonald's burgers
The protest finally ended in June, but two revelations put it back in
the spotlight yesterday.First, police said it had left them with a £7.1
million overtime bill.
Then it emerged that Mr Subramaniyan, 28, had eased his ordeal by
secretly eating McDonald's burgers.Scotland Yard surveillance teams
using specialist monitoring equipment had watched in disbelief as he
tucked into the clandestine deliveries.
A police insider said: 'In view of the overtime bill, this has got to
be most expensive Big Mac ever.'
Scotland Yard made no official comment but senior sources said police
decided against dragging the bogus hunger striker out of his tent for
fear it would start a riot.
One source said: 'This was such a sensitive operation that it was
felt officers could inflame the situation if we brought the hunger
strike and demonstration to a premature end. This is a further example
of the complexities of policing London today.'
The Yard figures revealed that officers pocketed nearly five times
more overtime on the Tamil demonstration - which at times brought
Westminster traffic to a standstill - than they did for the G20 summit
of world leaders in the capital in early April.
The overtime bill for policing the Tamils was nearly as much as the
one for foiling the country's biggest-ever terrorist plot, to blow up
several trans-Atlantic flights in 2006, which added up to £7.3
million.The police response to the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London in
2005 resulted in overtime payments of £21.7 million.Yard insiders
believe the huge amount of resources diverted to the 72-day Tamil
demonstrations contributed to a 9 per cent increase in burglary across
London in the past six months.
Riotous: Police carry out their
operation to clear protesters who were blocking a nearby
road Police mounted a 24-hour presence in Parliament Square
from April 6 to June 17.
Riotous: Police carry out their operation to clear protesters who
were blocking a nearby roadPolice mounted a 24-hour presence in
Parliament Square from April 6 to June 17.Several hundred protesters
were at the site every day with the numbers swelling to thousands each
time there were fresh reports of civilian deaths during the Sri Lankan
government's offensive to end its 25-year civil war against the
separatist Tamil Tigers.
Tim Hollis, a vice president of the Association of Chief Police
Officers, said in the MPA paper: 'Overtime figures reflect the realities
of modern policing, including its unpredictability.It must be remembered
that overtime generally reflects a cost effective and flexible way of
meeting additional demands.'It must, however, be always carefully
monitored, calculated and authorised.'
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: 'The policing operation
for the demonstration within Parliament Square also catered for a number
of associated events and protest sites.Expensive burger: 'Hunger
striker' Subramaniyan smuggled burgers in during his protest'This
included an increase in resources for Prime Minister's Questions, the
London Marathon, a march in support of the Tamil community totalling
110,000 people-and protests at the Indian and Sri Lankan High
Commissions.'A total of 29,838 officers worked during this 72-day
'Levels of officers deployed varied based on what police were dealing
with.'The peak for the static protest in Parliament Square reached
5,000. A march on April 11 was attended by in the region of 100,000
people.'Around 80 people were arrested in connection with the
demonstrations.Earlier this year it emerged that one unidentified
constable in the Met was paid more than £100,000 after doubling his
salary with overtime-The force declined to identify where the officer
worked, but those involved in royalty and diplomatic protection overseas
are traditionally among the top earners.Official figures also showed
that Met officers earned the most in overtime of any force.
There were 2,296 PCs taking home between £50,000 and £60,000 a year;
339 collecting more than £60,000; 53 on £70,000 or more and 12 over
£80,000 - at least £38,000 more than their basic salaries.
- Daily Mail (Oct.9 )