In a bid to get Centre to intervene in the ongoing Cauvery conflict between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, farmers and Opposition parties continued their ‘Rail Roko’ demonstration on Tuesday. The protests demanded that the Union government should constitute the Cauvery Management Board immediately. Thousands of people participated in the agitation and many were arrested for the same. DMK leader MK Stalin was also a part of the demonstration. Stalin led a procession at Perambur in Chennai even as scores of political workers belonging to DMK, the Left parties and MDMK among others staged a rail roko at Thanjavur and Cuddalore, and were detained.
DMK leader T K S Elangovan said, “It is the duty of the Government of India to form the Cauvery management board after not obeying the tribunal order, because the tribunal order is equivalent to the order of the Supreme Court.”
Farmers squatted on railway tracks and planted paddy seedling in the narrow gap between railway tracks in order to stop the movement of trains. They managed to block trains briefly but were removed later by police.
MDMK chief Vaiko and CPI(M) State Secretary G Ramakrishnan squatted on railway track at the busy Chennai Central Railway station. Similarly, CPI State Secretary R Mutharasan participated in a rail roko stir in Tiruvarur district.
Vaiko told reporters that the stir was to protect the rights of Tamil Nadu on the Cauvery issue. Blaming the BJP regime at the Centre for having a “hidden agenda,” to “support Karnataka,” he said, it was being done for “political edge.”
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.