Farmers in TN protest seeking release of Cauvery water

Farmers in TN protest seeking release of Cauvery water

Hundreds held for blocking road, rail traffic in many places

Farmers in TN protest seeking release of Cauvery water

Hundreds of farmers from the Cauvery Delta region were arrested on Tuesday when they staged protests and tried to block rail and road traffic at different places across the state, seeking immediate release of the Cauvery water from Karnataka.

The protests were held following Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's announcement that his government was not in a position to release the Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu and, would face legally the case filed by the neighbouring state in the Supreme Court seeking release of the Cauvery water.

The police arrested hundreds of farmers in the Delta districts of Thanjavur, Trichy, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam, who were backed by various political parties including the opposition DMK, the Congress, the Tamil Maanila Congress, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, when they tried to hinder rail traffic. This is the second time in less than a month, the Delta farmers have organised a state-wide bandh.

The protesting farmers sought setting up of the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee for implementing the final verdict of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. They demanded that the state government lead an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to solve the Cauvery issue immediately.

Tension prevailed for a while after railway services were affected in several districts including Chennai, when farmers had a scuffle with the police and entered railway stations to block movement of trains. Farmers organised demonstrations on more than 1,000 roads and at 100 railway junctions. Traffic on several highways, including Tiruvarur-Tanjavur and Nagapattinam-Karaikal was affected as farmers blocked the roads with huge tree branches and stones.

Shops and business establishments in the Delta districts remained closed. Lorry owners, merchant welfare societies, milk vendors’ federation, railway labourers’ association, mine labourers’ organisation and cotton labourers’ association among others supported the stir. Agriculturists from Pudukottai and Cuddalore, under the aegis of Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association also organised rallies in support of the Delta farmers.

 

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