Protests Engulf Tamil Nadu For Cauvery Management Board

Amid protests across Tamil Nadu, Governor Banwarilal Purohit left for Delhi by an evening flight, airport officials said.

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Protests Engulf Tamil Nadu For Cauvery Management Board

According to police, over 1,000 persons were detained across the state. (File)

Chennai:  Two DMK workers allegedly made self-immolation bids in Coimbatore today amid a state-wide stir for setting up Cauvery Management Board to implement the Supreme Court's verdict on water allocation among the riparian states.

Amid protests across Tamil Nadu, Governor Banwarilal Purohit left for Delhi by an evening flight, airport officials said.

The stir, being spearheaded by the DMK and a slew of pro-Tamil outfits, saw a slew of sit-ins and demonstrations by students and others at various places, including Chennai, Tiruvarur and Madurai.

According to police, over 1,000 persons were detained across the state in connection with protests and were released later in the day.

The two DMK activists, identified as P T Murugesan and Singai Sadashivam, doused themselves with kerosene and tried to immolate themselves at Coimbatore, police said.

The duo, however, were overpowered by policemen present at the spot and whisked away to a nearby police station, they added.

PMK founder leader Dr S Ramadoss today announced his party's support for tomorrow's call for shutdown by farmers organisations and traders, besides DMK-led opposition parties' bandh on April 5. He said his party would support all Cauvery related protests.

Major Opposition affiliated trade unions, including the LPF (DMK), and AITUC (CPI) meanwhile have decided to support the April 5 bandh. They held meetings in Chennai and Coimbatore to extend support to the shutdown.

Local DMK leaders led the protests across Tamil Nadu for immediate constitution of the CMB in keeping with party chief MK Stalin's statement yesterday that protests would continue till the Board was set up.

In Chennai, the demonstrations were held by DMK workers at several places, including Saidapet where former city Mayor M Subramanian led the stir.

Demonstrations were also held in Thanjavur, the hub of the Cauvery delta region by cadres of various outfits, including DMK, Congress and the Left parties.

DMK has asked its party functionaries to continue "democratic protests till April 4."

Hitting out at the BJP-led Centre for "trampling the rights of Tamil Nadu" on the Cauvery issue, it condemned the ruling AIADMK for "not mounting pressure on the Union government."

Rail blockades were staged at various places, including Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli and Pudukottai by agitating cadres of the opposition parties and pro-Tamil outfits.

Demonstrations were also held in front of the Central government offices in several cities like Chennai, Erode and the neighbouring Puducherry.

In Puducherry, the demonstration were held by activists of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam,a pro-Tamil outfit. Nearly 200 farmers and youths from various organisations staged a rail roko at Tirupur railway station and were removed by police.

During the protest in Chennai by the 'May 17 Movement,' a pro-Tamil outfit, some of its cadres allegedly hurled sandals at the signboard of "Shasthri Bhavan" housing several Central government offices, briefly triggering anxiety.

BJP Tamil Nadu unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan meanwhile blamed DMK for enacting "dramas," on the Cauvery issue.

Speaking to reporters at Tiruvannamalai, she dared the party Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi to resign her post rather than holding protests. Volunteers of a pro-Tamil outfit who tried to show her black flags over the Cauvery issue were removed from the spot by police.

The protesters blamed the saffron party's Tamil Nadu unit for not "taking steps" to bring pressure on its party-led government at the Centre for setting up the CMB.

Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi chief T Velmurugan, whose party cadres had yesterday ransacked a toll plaza at Ulundurpet in Villupuram district, said their protest was only against the Centre and not anyone else.

Over a dozen pro-Tamil outfits, including DVK and Adi Tamizhar Katchi and cadres of Left parties held protests in Madurai.

The DMK-led opposition parties had yesterday called for a state-wide shutdown on April 5, seeking constitution of the CMB by the Centre.

Both the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government had on March 31 moved the Supreme Court on the issue of constitution and composition of the CMB in compliance with its February 16 on water allocation among riparian states.

The top court had granted six weeks to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its order, which modified the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal Award.The six-week period ended on March 29.

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