THANJAVUR : Thirty MDMK cadre led by its farmers wing state secretary Aduthurai Murugan were arrested on Sunday at Sivaramapuram bus stop while on way to meet the Kathiramangalam farmers protesting police action on people who took to streets demanding an end to ONGC operations. Shops remained closed for the second consecutive day in the village as a mark of protest.
Kathiramangalam has turned into a fortress as policemen have been posted at 20 places around the village to scuttle any protest by the villagers. The police teams, headed by an inspector, have been posted at 11 oil wells in Kathiramangalam and surrounding areas.
The policemen from Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts are on duty round the clock.
Owing to the heavy police presence, residents of the village could not venture out onto the streets. No passenger alighted or boarded at Kathiramangalam bus stop located on the Kumbakonam-Mayiladuthurai route, only policemen were getting down and boarding the buses. The streets wore a deserted look.
A Annadurai, District Collector, visited the village on Sunday afternoon and inspected the farm where the crude oil from ONGC pipeline leaked.
Speaking to mediapersons, he said compensation would be paid to the farm owners affected by the leakage of the crude oil leak. He assured that the ONGC would restore the farms. He said five litres of water were being distributed to the village from 11 overhead tanks. He added two new borewells were being sunk to supply water. He denied the allegation that the police were deployed to terrorise the people and said they were only for providing security.
He said the district administration is ready for talks with the people and would hold talks within a day or two to allay their fears. It may be noted on June 30 there was a leak in the ONGC pipeline carrying crude from Kathiramangalam to Kuttalam and it spread to the fields. The agitated villagers blocked road and the police resorted to lathicharge in which public were injured. Police sources said some police personnel were also injured.