Over 5K held in delta as Cauvery stir spills on to streets

Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts witness widespread road and rail blockades against Karnataka’s refusal to share water.

Published: 31st August 2016 05:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2016 05:19 AM   |  A+A-

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THANJAVUR/TIRUVARUR/NAGAPATTINAM : Anger against Karnataka’s decision to deprive Tamil Nadu of its rightful share of the Cauvery water spilled over to the streets in the delta region on Tuesday, with over 4,000 protesters arrested in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts alone.

As many as 4,628 farmers and activists from various political parties were arrested for rail and road blockades, seeking release of the Cauvery water for Samba paddy cultivation and constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) for implementation of the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT).

In Thanjavur, farmers and activists led by P Nedumaran, president of the Tamilar Desiya Munnani, assembled in front of Thanjavur Railway Junction and staged a protest blocking the Vasco-Da-Gama–Velankanni Express.

Nedumaran condemned the participation of national political leaders in the all-party meeting in Karnataka, wherein a decision to not let the Cauvery water into Tamil Nadu was taken.

Pointing a finger at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for postponing the constitution of the CMB, he said, “With an aim to capture power in Karnataka in the ensuing Assembly elections, the Prime Minister is doing injustice to Tamil Nadu.”

He added that even the leaders of other national parties did not condemn Karnataka. “The people of Tamil Nadu should understand the double standards of the national political leaders on the Cauvery issue,” he added. Later, police arrested Nedumaran, district president of Farmers’ Association Punniyamurthy, DMK district secretary Durai Chandrasekaran, DK general secretary R Jayakumar and Congress leader Krishnasamy Vandayar.

In Thanjavur old bus stand area, farmers led by Tirupathy were arrested for staging a road blockade. In Kumbakonam, Papanasam and Budalur, police detained those who staged rail blockade. As many as 524 farmers and activists were arrested for staging rail blockade in four places in the district. Besides, 2,504 activists and farmers who staged road blockade were arrested in 22 places across the district. Following a bandh call, around 3,000 shops across the district remained closed.

In Tiruvarur district, 1,600 farmers and political activists were arrested. The members of various political parties, including the DMK, TMC, DMDK, VCK and SDPI, gathered near the bus stand area and took out a rally to the railway junction to stage a rail blockade. As the police stopped them, protesters squatted on the Tiruvarur-Thanjavur road, following which the traffic was affected.

Over 1,000 farmers and members of farmers’ associations were arrested across Nagapattinam and Karaikal. In Nagapattinam, cadre of the DMK, VCK, TMC and Congress took out a rally to Anthanapettai Railway Gate and attempted to block the tracks. Several shops in Thirumarugal remained closed. Protests were also staged at Kilvelur, Keezhaiyoor, Vedaranyam and Mayiladuthurai. In Karaikal, shops and hotels remained shut in solidarity with the protesting farmers.

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