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Hunger striker's 7m Big Mac: Tamil who cost London a fortune in policing was sneaking in fast-food

Hunger striker's 7m Big Mac: LTTE sympathizer who cost London a fortune in policing was sneaking in fast-food

(By: Stephen Wright)

Expensive burger: 'Hunger striker' Subramaniyan smuggled burgers in during his protest

He 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'.

The protest finally ended in June, but two revelations put it back in the spotlight yesterday (Oct 08).

First, police said it had left them with a 7.1million 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 7.3million.

The police response to the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London in 2005 resulted in overtime payments of 21.7million.

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.

Details of the over-time bonanza were revealed in a paper submitted to the Metropolitan Police Authority, which oversees the running of Britain's biggest force.

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.

Tamil takeaways: 'Hunger striker' Parameswaran Subramaniyan, sitting outside the Houses of Parliament, secretly ate McDonald's burgers

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.




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