Cauvery dispute: Rail roko protests continue for second day in Tamil Nadu
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Chennai: Mass rail blockades by opposition parties and farmers continued for the second day on Tuesday at various places across the state over the Cauvery issue, with police detaining Tamil Maanila Congress leader G.K. Vasan and about 300 farmers for staging protests.
Leading an agitation at the Egmore Railway station in Chennai, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) chief Thol Thirumavalavan, along with several workers including those from the Left parties, blocked an express train.
The two senior leaders climbed onto the railing of the train’s engine and shouted slogans condemning the stance of the Centre against the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board. Protests were held at the Central railway station in Chennai, by Naam Tamizhar Katchi leader Seeman along with his supporters, who were later taken away by the police.
Similar protests witnessed huge participation of people in the Cauvery Delta region of the state including Tiruchirappalli and Thanjavur districts. Scores of farmers and members of political parties were arrested at different places for attempting to block rail traffic. Vasan was detained along with hundreds of his party workers in Thanjavur for staging a protest. While in Tiruchirappalli district, about 300 farmers were apprehended for blocking the Vaigai Express bound for Chennai, at Pullampadi station.
A heavy posse of police personnel had been deployed at railway stations including Madurai, to prevent any untoward incidents. In Madurai, police outnumbered the agitators and security barricades were erected to prevent agitators from entering the station. The Supreme Court-appointed high-level technical team, formed to inspect the Cauvery basin to assess the ground realities in both the states, had on Monday submitted its report to the Court.
The report had suggested doing away with “outdated and unscientific water application techniques” to resolve the wrangle, saying both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were facing water shortage, creating unemployment and financial hardship for the people. The committee’s report will come up for perusal during the hearing on the Cauvery dispute in the apex court on Tuesday.