Chennai: Groups calling for the establishment of the Cauvery Management Board took their protest to the cricket field on Tuesday, as they demonstrated outside the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, demanding a boycott of the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders.
The arterial Anna Salai was blocked just hours before the start of the cricket match. As protesters began to march from the Anna Salai towards the stadium via the Wallajah Road, they were stopped by police. Some protesters let off black balloons in protest.
During the match, at least four people who threw slippers into the ground were detained.
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Tamil outfit Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi and Social Democratic Party of India, among others took part in the protest.
MLAs Thamim Ansari, U. Thaniarasu and Karunas, Naam Thamizhar Katchi leader Seeman and Tamilnadu Farmers Federation president P.R. Pandian led a procession. Film directors Bharathiraja, Ameer, Ram and Vetrimaran who joined the protesters were detained. Lyricist Vairamuthu who took part in the protest said, “We will not allow the desertification of the Cauvery Delta region."
The police charged with sticks as protestors tried to break a cordon and took into custody members of various outfits.
While the protests over the Cauvery have been persistent across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, over the past week, there were demands to boycott the IPL matches in Chennai.
A senior police official who was on duty near the stadium said that around 4,000 security personnel, including commandos and members of the Rapid Action Force were deployed.
In the last one week, walls in Chennai that were painted with the “Whistle Podu" slogan of the Chennai Super Kings team have been changed to “We want Cauvery" and “Cauvery is our Right".
Opposition leader M.K. Stalin had asked the IPL authorities to take into consideration the people’s sentiment.