Chennai, Apr 4 (PTI) The Cauvery issue continued to rock Tamil Nadu for the fourth consecutive day today with protests by DMK and other opposition parties, while two outfits opposed IPL matches scheduled here, even as a man who had consumed poison allegedly over the river-water row died.
Tamil Nadu is also bracing for tomorrow’s bandh call by the DMK-led Opposition, which has been supported by others, including opposition affiliated trade-unions.
DMK held protest demonstrations across Tamil Nadu, in which cadres of it’s ally Congress and other friendly outfits, including Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, participated.
Former city Mayor M Subramanian and sitting legislators, including Sekar Babu, were among the leaders of the main opposition who led the demonstrations here.
In Coimbatore, over 300 DMK workers, led by MLA N Karthik, were arrested when they attempted to stage a demonstration in front of a BSNL office.
In a novel protest, some 200 workers of DMK’s youth wing came with some bulls and squatted on the road, putting rats in their mouths, in a symbolic gesture that farmers would have to consume rats if the Cauvery Management Board not not set up.
CPI State Secretary R Mutharasan led a rail blockade at Basin Bridge here. Similar protests were held in several parts of the state by CPI, including the one by former legislator Sivapunniyam at Peralam near Tiruvarur.
Protest demonstrations were also held in neighbouring Puducherry in front of Central government offices.
Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi chief and sitting MLA M Thamimun Ansari asked if IPL matches were needed when “farmers are shedding tears and people are yearning for drinking water.”
Asking the Tamil Nadu government to deny the nod for the matches, he said if the matches were held,his party cadres and “Cauvery Rights Retrieval Committee,” volunteers would storm the stadium and stop the game.
Pro-Tamil outfit Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi chief T Velmurugan appealed to the organisers of IPL matches to not hold them in Chennai. If it was done, his party and friendly Tamil outfits would stage a “democratic demonstration” inside the stadium by buying tickets.
“We are not against cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, or cricket fans,” the TVK chief, whose party cadres days ago vandalised a toll plaza in an agitation at Villupuram district on the Cauvery issue, said.
In Salem,a 40-year-old man who opposed non-constitution of CMB and consumed rat poison, died today, police said.
Prabhu, an auto rickshaw driver, had consumed rat poison on April 2 during a protest over Cauvery issue by various political parties in that city.
He was “upset over the Centre not setting up CMB,” police said. He was undergoing treatment in a Salem Government Hospital and passed away there.
Prabhu was also against the proposed visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Tamil Nadu this month, alleging that he failed to protect the rights of the State on Cauvery, police said.
Meanwhile Tamilaga Vanigar Sangangalin Peravai, a trade body, announced its support for the DMK-led Opposition’s call for a shutdown tomorrow on the Cauvery issue.
Since many opposition affiliated trade unions, including Left unions, have also extended support for the shutdown, it is expected to hit normal life.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.