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Protests rage across Cauvery heartland, several detained in Tamil Nadu

As the ruling AIADMK and opposition parties took to the streets in protest against the delay in formation of the CMB, demonstrations and agitations raged across the Delta on Tuesday.

Published: 04th April 2018 03:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th April 2018 08:46 AM   |  A+A-

Woman hanging in gates of Tiruchy Airport and raising slogans to the formation of CMB in Tiruchy on Tuesday | M K Ashok Kumar

By Express News Service

TIRUCHY, THANJAVUR, NAGAPATTINAM,  ARIYALUR, PERAMBALUR: As the ruling AIADMK and opposition parties took to the streets in protest against the delay in formation of the CMB, demonstrations and agitations raged across the Delta on Tuesday.

RS member and AIDMK deputy coordinator R Vaithilingam inaugurated the day fast in front of the head post office in Thanjavur.Agriculture Minister R Doraikkannu, party spokesperson Vaigaiselvan and MLAs C V Sekar (Pattukkottai), M Govindarasu (Peravurani) also participated.

TTV Dhinakaran, farmers leaders P Ayyakkannu and PR Pandian along with 1, 650 cadre were arrested for picketing Tiruchy Airport and released later. Addressing the gathering, Dhinakaran said, “We are protesting in a democratic way. This is not for political mileage but to save the livelihood of the farmers in the Delta. We will support all protests calls made by farmers.” 

ALSO READ | Cauvery cause gets opposition boost, bandh today in Tamil Nadu

Ayyakannu said, “Farmers are not slaves. We are the primary citizens who fulfil the food requirements of this country. So the Centre should form the board to save farmers from the water crisis.” As thousands of supporters gathered near the airport, some tried to tear an AIADMK banner. In Tiruvarur, AIADMK cadre staged a fast in front of the railway junction.

Food Minister R Kamaraj, Tamil Nadu Textbook Society chairperson B Valarmathi, former minister R Jayapal, Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association general secretary Mannargudi S Ranganathan, All Farmers’ Associations of Tamil Nadu coordinator P R Pandian were among present.

ALSO READ | Brace yourself as Tamil Nadu bandh on Thursday may affect normal life

Members of opposition DMK, Congress, VCK, CPI, CPM and MDMK staged a demonstration in front of the LIC divisional office on Gandhi Road in Thanjavur, which led to a scuffle between the protestors and police. DMK cadre then threw stones at the board of the LIC building.

Former Union minister SS Palanimanickam, MLAs M Ramachandran, D Chandrasekaran (all DMK), R Jayakumar (DK), PG Rajendran (Congress), G Neelamegam (CPM), S Chandrakumar (CPI), G Udhayakumar (MDMK), Chocka Ravi (VCK) led the protest.

A group of farmers under the banner of Tamilaga Cauvery Vivasayigal Sangam were stopped by police on their way to blocking trains and the protesters led by T Punniyamurthy, State president of the association, were arrested. 

Advocates owing allegiance to the Joint Action Committee of the Tamil Nadu, Puducherry Bar Associations boycotted courts and took out a procession.All the shops in the Kamaraj vegetable market in Thanjavur and in Kumbakonam wholesale vegetable market in Darasuram remained closed. 

Textiles Minister O S Manian, who led the protest at Avurithidal in Nagapattinam.

At a protest organised by DMK, CPM, Congress and MDMK, CPM State chief K Balakrishnan alleged that “the party which can put heavy pressure to form the CMB is just staging a drama called fasting”.

Responding to Balakrishnan, Manian said, “Those who criticise the AIADMK’s silent fast are criticising the non-violent way of protest shown by Mahatma Gandhi.” 

As the Tamilaga Cauvery Vivasayigal Sangam staged rail rokos in Nagapattinam and Sirkazhi along with MJK, police arrested 44 farmers and MJK cadre.

While traders in Kollidam, Sembanarkoil, Tharangambadi and Sirkazhi expressed solidarity, a human chain was formed in Mayiladuthurai over the same issue.

ELSEWHERE

  • An AIADMK cadre tried to immolate self during the  fast at Bunglowmedu near Theni. Prabu (41) of Sankarapuram was, however, stopped by others present at the venue
  • Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture K Pandiarajan participated in fast in Nagercoil
  • IT Minister M Manikandan fasted in Ramanathapuram along with the AIADMK cadre
  • Minister P Thangamani, who participated in the stir in Namakkal, hoped the State will get its due share of Cauvery water
  • Nearly 2,000 supporters, led by ministers Sellur K Raju and R B Udhayakumar and MLAs, staged a hunger strike near Simmakkal in Madurai
  • Protests on Cauvery issue by the DMK and Congress are a mere eyewash, said BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan in Coimbatore


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