Tamil Nadu farmers seek Ayyakannu’s release, climb mobile tower

Against this backdrop, the city police as a preventive measure put Ayyakannu under house arrest on Tuesday night. Eight other farmers were detained alongside him.
P Ayyakannu, president of the Association for Interlinking National-South Indian Rivers.
P Ayyakannu, president of the Association for Interlinking National-South Indian Rivers. | Ashwin Prasath

TIRUCHY: Tense moments prevailed at Woraiyur Road in the city on Wednesday when a group of farmers blocked the road and climbed a mobile phone tower nearby demanding the release of their association leader P Ayyakannu, whom the city police have placed under house arrest.

Ayyakannu, the president of Desiya Thenninthiya Nadhigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam, earlier announced that the outfit would stage a protest in Chennai during May 22-30 over their host of demands. The demands to the union government include making Karnataka release the share of Cauvery water that is due for Tamil Nadu and to stop the upper riparian state’s plan to build a dam across the river at Mekedatu. Against this backdrop, the city police as a preventive measure put Ayyakannu under house arrest on Tuesday night. Eight other farmers were detained alongside him.

Learning of it, three farmers who were part of the association on Wednesday climbed a mobile phone tower beside Woraiyur Road, raising slogans in demand of the release of those detained. Six other members blocked the road, disrupting vehicular traffic.

On information, the police arrested the six farmers who resorted to the road blockade. Following peace talks with the farmers atop the tower, they were brought down to safety with assistance from fire and rescue services personnel. They were also subsequently arrested, sources said.

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