Protests rock Tamil Nadu; DMK continues to hold road roko

Protests rock Tamil Nadu; DMK continues to hold road roko

E.T.B. Sivapriyan

CHENNAI, DHNS: Protests on the Cauvery issue intensified on Tuesday with establishments affiliated to an influential traders' body downing their shutters along with those of chemist shops, even as the Opposition DMK continued with its road roko across Tamil Nadu.

AIADMK rebel and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) deputy general secretary T T V Dhinakaran, nephew of late chief minister's close aide V K Sasikala, was arrested in Tiruchirapalli after he along with his supporters and farmers' from the Cauvery Delta region gehraoed the international airport in the Central Tamil Nadu city, 300 km from Chennai.

Koyamedu Vegetable Market, that provides supplies to the whole of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, wore a deserted look on Tuesday with the vendors' too joining the protest. Traders and chemist shop owners' downed their shutters in solidarity with the farmers who are fighting for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

Cadres of DMK, the principal Opposition party, continued to hold flash protests across the state and some also tried stopping the trains by squatting on the tracks. However, no inordinate delay in train schedules were reported from anywhere in Tamil Nadu.

DMK had announced that it will hold continuous protests culminating in a total shutdown called by the party on April 5. The shutdown is likely to affect normal life with another influential regional party, PMK, putting its weight behind the DMK and more than a dozen transport unions also announcing their support.

Protests in Tamil Nadu have intensified in the past few days after the six-week deadline set by the Supreme Court for constituting the Cauvery Management Board ended on March 30. Separately, the ruling AIADMK undertook a day-long fast on Tuesday in all district headquarters across the state condemning non-constitution of CMB despite a clear verdict by the Supreme Court.

EoM

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