Trichy: Continuing their protest for immediate setting up of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB), as directed by the Supreme Court, a group of farmers in Tamil Nadu's Trichy partially buried themselves in the sand on the banks of Cauvery river. Carrying skulls and garlands around their necks, the farmers battled the blazing sun as they enveloped themselves in the hot sand. The police detained P Ayyakannu, who became the face of farmers protest in Delhi last year, and other protesting farmers.
In April last year, these farmers had camped outside the Jantar Mantar in Delhi to press their demands in a unique manner. They had shaved their heads, moustaches; clasped mice and snakes in their mouths; staged mock funerals and flogged themselves. They even carried skulls of farmers who committed suicide due to debt pressure and threatened to drink their own urine.
Political parties have joined farmer associations in Tamil Nadu to demand constitution of the board to protect their interests, but Karnataka doesn't seem to be on the same page with its neighbour.
Tamil Nadu's main opposition party - the DMK - along with the Congress, CPI(M) and CPI held a day-long bandh in the state yesterday. They have been accusing the central government of delaying the setting up of the board in the wake of the upcoming Assembly election in Karnataka next month.
The ruling AIADMK had called for a hunger strike on Tuesday. "The hunger strike is to condemn the central government for not forming the CMB," the AIADMK said in a statement.
The Supreme Court had on February 16 asked the centre to form the Cauvery board to implement a scheme for sharing water between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for 15 years. The centre is yet to form the board -- the deadline to set up the board lapsed on March 29 -- following which Tamil Nadu government filed the contempt petition against the centre. The top court will hear the petition on April 9.
"We understand Tamil Nadu's problem. We will see that Tamil Nadu gets water, and will solve the issue," a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra said.