CHENNAI : The Madras High Court has restrained Erode town police from interfering with the peaceful conduct of a ‘continuous sit-in protest’ on a private land at Thotteni village by a farmer association, except where there is a chance of any law and order problem. Justice N Anand Venkatesh, who granted permission to the association, also directed the local police to ensure that the agitation goes off peacefully and provide necessary protection.
The judge was disposing of a writ petition from A M Munusamy, secretary of Erode district unit of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, which sought to quash an order dated October 21 of the DSP, Erode Town range, refusing permission for the protest. Originally, the petitioner wanted to hold the agitation on the revised date of November 12.
As there is paucity of time, the judge said the petitioner will have to inform police the future date for conducting the agitation at least one week in advance.
Petitioner association members wanted to stage the agitation to register protest against implementation of nine power transmission projects, for which giant towers are being erected on their agricultural lands. The licensees of the projects - TANTRANSCO and PGCIL - did not pay any compensation for the loss of land by farmers. This was in violation of Telegraph Act, Electricity Act, Works of Licensees Rules, Fair Compensation and Transparency of Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and re-Settlement Act. Their livelihood is badly affected, they contended.