Special TN session to discuss dam

Special TN session to discuss dam

For the second day, farmers from Tamil Nadu marched towards Kerala

The development prompted Chief Minister J Jayalalitha to convene a special session of the State Assembly in Chennai on December 15.

For the second consecutive day, police found it difficult to cope with the spontaneous march by thousands of farmers dependent on the dam’s water for irrigation and drinking purposes, despite a prohibitory order in force in Theni district bordering Kerala.

Since morning, the agitated farmers, including hundreds of women farm workers, unable to enter Kerala to work in plantations there, joined the march, police sources said. Many took to walking on the highway, even as a large number of farmers moved by every conceivable means, from mini-trucks, tractors to two-wheelers in a massive show of solidarity. Some of them also carried effigies of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

As the agitation is getting beyond the control of political parties and the protests taking several forms–from picketing to suspending transportation of essential articles including milk, vegetables and poultry products to Kerala– Chief Minister J Jayalalitha came out with an appeal to all the farmers not to be overpowered by their emotions now.

There have also been sporadic incidents of violence, even as many of the Ayyappa devotees from Tamil Nadu on their annual pilgrimage to Sabarimala, are returning home after worshipping at smaller shrines dedicated to Lord Ayyappa en route, fearing they could be targeted in Kerala.

Jayalalitha sent out an urgent appeal to the farmers, congregated near the heavily guarded check-post at Kumuli, the entry point to Kerala, urging them to disperse and “not complicate matters by acts that could endanger our interests. “We must prove to the world that we don’t believe in violence or hatred,” she asserted.

As the Mullaperiyar issue was presently before the Supreme Court, “it is only by convincing the apex court that justice is on our side, by marshalling all the technical and scientific facts and by reasoned arguments, that we can resolve this issue,” Jayalalitha said to the distressed farmers of the five southern districts directly dependent on the mullaperiyar reservoir.

Observing that she fully shared the agony of the affected people, Jayalalitha made it clear that this “is not an issue between the people of Tamil Nadu and the people of Kerala; nor is it one of even an iota of enemity between the people of the two States.”

She  urged the people to refrain from any harm or violence to the people of Kerala in any way or cause damage to their property. “It will not help resolve the issue; rather we will be only hurting ourselves,” she said.

Slippers thrown at TN minister

As tension escalated on the inter-state border town of Kumily over the Mullaperiyar dam issue, protesters on the Tamil Nadu side on Sunday threw slippers at Finance Minister O Panneerselvam and gheraoed him, PTI reports .

Paneerselvam, a senior AIADMK leader, faced the ire of the protesters on the TN side of the border town of Kumily when he tried to persuade them to give up their agitation following a lathicharge to quell their demonstration, which left 50 people injured.

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