Over 2000 arrested in Tamil Nadu over Cauvery dispute agitation

Chennai,Oct17:Various farmers’ organisations on Monday began a 48-hour rail roko in Tiruchi and delta districts, demanding the constitution of a Cauvery management board.

Opposition parties, including the DMK, extended their support and participated in the agitation. Former DMK Minister K.N. Nehru courted arrest after attempting a blockade at the Srirangam Railway Station.

Officials stated that there was no disruption of rail services.

Latest updates

1.21 pm: More arrests were made at Pollachi, Mettupalayam and Sulur Railway Stations in Coimbatore district.

1.10 pm: In Cuddalore, over 700 farmers and cadres of political parties tried to enter the railway station for staging a rail roko agitation.Police had to resort to mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd. Nearly 300 persons were arrested, police said. In Erode district, several farmers and opposition party workers who attempted to enter the Erode Railway Station were arrested by the police.

1.09 pm: Madurai City Police resorted to lathi charge to disperse a strong crowd belonging to various opposition parties, when they insisted on staging a rail roko and attempted to enter the railway junction here, they said. Around five persons suffered simple injuries in the lathi charge.

(Farmers planting paddy in Raliway track at Kudamuruti as part of demonstration in Tiruchi on Monday.)

12.47 pm: Over 2000 farmers and cadres of various parties were arrested in the central region comprising of eight districts till 12.30 pm. Maximum number of arrests were made in Thanjavur district with the figure exceeding 1400.

12.31 pm: Makkal Nala Kuttani volunteers staged a rail roko in Ramanathapuram against the Central government.

11.59 am: Former Speaker R. Avudaiyappan, Palayamkottai MLA T. P. M. Mohideen Khan, former MLA Appavu arrested in front Tirunelveli railway Junction along with 250 cadres.

(Farmers and DMK MLA Ma. Subramaniyan and other cadres stage a rail roko at Saidapet Railway station demanding the constitution of Cauvery management board on Monday. Photo: M. Karunakaran)

11.47 am: Senior DMK leader Duraimurugan was arrested after a rail roko at Katpadi junction in Vellore on Monday.

11.43 am: The DMK cadres led by Puducherry convenor (South) R. Siva and S.P. Sivakumar (North), staged a rail roko against Central Government for Cauvery issue in Puducherry.

(DMK cadres headed by DMK Puducherry convenor (South) R. Siva and S.P. Sivakumar (North), staging a rail roko against Central Government for Cauvery issue in Puducherry on Monday. Photo: S.S. Kumar)

11,28 am: Vehicular traffic on West Veli street comes to a grinding halt as PWFcadres block road in Madurai.

11.10 am: Angered over the police using force against one of their members who jumped over barricades, cadres of People’s Welfare Front broke the police cordon and got into the main concourse hall of Madurai Railway Station.

(People’s Welfare Front members protest at the Madurai Railway Station on Monday.)

10.52 am: Leader of Opposition and DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin and six MLAs courted arrest

10.49 am: A goods train bound for Mecheri in Salem district was detained for over an hour at Kudamurutti near Tiruchi after a group of farmers lie down on the track and planted saplings in the track to record their protest. Around 50 farmers affiliated to Desiya Thennindhiya Nathigal Inaippu Vivasaya Sangam were arrested.

10.45 am: Tamil Maanila Congress cadres court arrest near Egmore Railway Station.

10.43 am: The Kancheepuram district DMK secretary and Alandur MLA T.M. Anbarasan led the protest in Tambaram Railway station.

10.40 am: Leader of Opposition and DMK treasurer M.K.Stalin along with party MLAs took out a procession to Perambur Railway Station. They are likely to court arrest.

10.35 am: Tension prevails near Perambur Railway Station as DMK cadres led by Mr.Stalin broke the cordon of the police and blocked an EMU train bound to Avadi.

(Various farmers’ organisations block a rail near Thanjavur Railway Station on Monday. Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam)

10.00 am: The VCK founder Thol Thirumavalavan and his supporters attempted to block rail services near Basin Bridge, Chennai.

9.45 am: The CPI state secretary Mutharasan also led to a rail roko at Tiruvarur Railway station. Mr. Mutharasan urged the state government to convene all party meet to mount pressure on Centre to form Cauvery Management Board.

9.40 am: Farmers belonging to Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam resorted to novel protest by cooking food on track at Thanjavur.

9.36 am: Around 600 farmers and members of various political parties arrested at different places in Thanjavur district after sat on railway tracks demanding the formation of Cauvery Management Board.

9.35 am: A large number of farmers were arrested in central region including Thanjavur and Kumbakonam after they resorted to rail-roko. They undertook the stir condemning the centre for not constituting the Cauvery Management Board. The protest has the backing of all the major Opposition parties including DMK and Congress. The other parties who participated in the protest are TMC and People’s Welfare Front.

9.33 am: Farmers stage blockade at Thanjavur Railway station, raising slogans urging Centre not to cheat Tamil Nadu farmers.

(Former DMK Minister K.N. Nehru being arrested near Srirangam Railway Station on Monday. Photo: M. Srinath)

The protests come days after a high-level technical team, set up by the Supreme Court, completed its inspection of Cauvery basin region in Tamil Nadu to assess the situation in the state.

The team, which also inspected the Cauvery basin in Karnataka, is set to submit its report in the apex court on Monday.

The apex court had set up the team while hearing a petition by Tamil Nadu government seeking release of Cauvery water by Karnataka.