Bid to block roads to Kerala turns violent

Bid to block roads to Kerala turns violent

Dam issue takes a new twist with Vaiko arrested

The “blockade”, a part of the continuing agitation on the dam issue on its 17th day on Wednesday, forced the police to resort to lathicharge to disperse the hundreds of protesters in Theni district, who sought to march into Kerala through the Kumuli route, sources said.

Some of them were injured in the process.  MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who led the blockade on the Kumuli road, was arrested, for defying prohibitory order.

 Vaiko, even as he was led away by the police in a van, demanded that Kerala should agree to implement the Supr­eme Court’s order in raising the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam from 136 feet to 142 feet and not prejudge the issue.  

Nearly 8,000 trucks which regularly cart vegetables, poultry, and heads of cattle for slaughter to Kerala, were off the road on Wednesday in response to the “road blockade” call given by the MDMK and some fringe Tamil groups.

From the ‘Farmers market’ in Oddanchatram in Dindigul district, 1000 tonnes of vegetables are sent to Kerala every day.

Agitating farmers and locals in other parts of the State joined the stir and threatened to continue until both Tamil Nadu and Kerala put their heads together to resolve the issue, sources said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister, J Jayalalitha, on Tuesday shot off another letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, strongly protesting the ‘National Disaster Management Authority’ constituting a team of experts to formulate a ‘Contingency Response Plan’ for Mullaperiyar Dam area and downstream for any em­e­r­g­ency.

She contended that the Kerala Government’s objective Stating that such a contingency response plan by the NDMA was not warranted at this stage, Jayalalitha urged Singh to ord­er withdrawal of the recent ‘Office Memorandum’ of the NDMA constituting a team of experts to prepare such a plan.

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