Self-immolation bid, protests rock TN

Two DMK workers purportedly attempted self-immolation on Monday as protests on the Cauvery issue spread across Tamil Nadu.

The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) also announced its support for a state-wide shutdown called by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Thursday.

DMK workers continued holding flash protests across the state on Monday, taking a cue from their leader M K Stalin who staged an impromptu dharna in Valluvar Kottam area in Chennai on Sunday. In a statement, Stalin appealed to people from all walks of life to make the April 5 bandh a "grand success" even as he received a boost from an association of farmers' group being spearheaded by the PMK that pledged support for the day-long shutdown.

In Coimbatore, two DMK activists, identified as P T Murugesan and Singai Sadashivam, doused themselves with kerosene and tried to self immolate. However, they were overpowered by the policemen present at the spot and whisked away to a nearby police station.

In Chennai, cadres of fringe outfit, May 17 Movement, gathered outside Shastri Bhawan, which houses several Central Government offices, in the morning and pelted stones at the buildings. However, they were immediately arrested and taken away from the spot. Several Central Government installations, specifically Post Offices, came under attack from fringe outfits.

A traders' body and chemist shops association announced that shops would remain shut on Tuesday as a show of solidarity with farmers, who are suffering due to non-release of water from Cauvery river.

DMK cadres also tried blocking trains at several cities like Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli and warned of intensifying their protests if the Centre did not act immediately. Demonstrations in Cauvery delta region also intensified with students of various colleges in Mannargudi bunking classes and launching protests demanding immediate constitution of Cauvery Management Board.

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