Cauvery management board issue: Protest escalates in Chennai; two held for throwing shoes at CSK player
Traffic on the arterial Anna Salai was thrown out of gear as protestors from various political parties and movements were seen raising slogans against the Centre for not constituting CMB.
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CHENNAI: The police on Tuesday took into custody members of various organisations protesting against the holding of Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) here.
Tamil film industry celebrities like Karunas, Bharathiraja and director Gawthaman were arrested. Seeman of Naam Tamilar Katchi was also arrested. Three people were arrested for shouting slogans and two others were also held for throwing shoes at CSK player Faf du Plessis.
Five protesters tried self immolation in front of the stadium main gate. They were taken away by the police. One incident of agitators burning yellow jerseys, the attire of Chennai Super Kings players, was also reported.
Members of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Tamizhaga Vaazhvurimai Katchi (TVK), Nam Tamilar Katchi, Tamilar Ezhuchi Iyakkam (TEI), May 17 Movement and other groups rose slogans and pushed through rows of barricades set up by police to march to MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, where the match is said to begin at 8pm. The Chennai city police on Tuesday arrested around 150 members from VCK after they gathered near Bells Road, Triplicane around 3 pm. Around 10 members of TVK were arrested while attempting to enter the stadium. They staged a road blockade at the arterial Anna Salai and TTK Salai, affecting traffic movement, police said.
Celebrities such as Bharathiraja and Vairamuthu arrived at Mount Road in solidarity with the protesters. Protesters rose a "Tamil Flag" which bears symbols of ancient South Indian kings and called for the match to be cancelled. By 6pm protesters marched their way until 300 m away from the stadium where they were being blocked by hundreds of Police officers.
As the match approaches closer, the protests became more volatile with more and more people being detained by police officers. The police even used lathi on some protesters. Protesters engaged in figure burning.
The protest also took a digital tone with twitter raging on hashtags such as #CauveryProtest #CauveryWaterManagementBoard #CSKvsKKR.
The threat of more protests prompted police to step up security for the cricketers, including during their journey to the stadium from their hotel.
The CSK team suffered a slight delay on its onward trip to the stadium for the match due to the disruption.
The Chidambaram stadium has turned into a virtual fortress with 4,000 policemen including commandos and members of the Rapid Action Force deployed for security.
Today's IPL tie, the first since 2015, would involve Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Some protesters were seen raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not establishing the Cauvery Management Board, an issue on which Tamil Nadu political parties including DMK and other outfits have been agitating for the past one week.
On Monday, authorities announced unprecedented security arrangements for the Indian Premier League (IPL) match.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has banned spectators from bringing mobile phones, remote control car-key or any electronic devices, bags, briefcases, pagers, radios, digital diaries, laptops, computers, tape-recorders and even binoculars.
The banned list also includes musical instrument, video cameras, digital cameras, crackers, inflammable materials, firearms and ammunition, edibles, thermos flasks, water jugs, bottles, cigarettes, beedis, match boxes, lighters, razors, scissors, mirrors and glass, knifes and batteries.
The use of mobile phones, transistors, computers, cameras or any other audio visual recording equipment for recording and for communication the match details, statistics and images has also been prohibited.
On Tuesday, however, the IPL organisers decided to allow spectators to carry mobile phones into the stadium - when it became clear that a ban on mobile phone would keep people away from the complex.
(With agency inputs)