People observe fast in Coimbatore, Mettupalayam, Kangayam, Tirupur, Udumalpet, Palladam and Avinashi

More than 300 lawyers marched from the Combined District Sessions Court complex and stormed the office of the Income Tax office in Race Course on Wednesday, as part of the anti-Sri Lanka protests.

Lawyers raised slogans urging India to ensure that the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka to be adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Session at Geneva on Thursday was not diluted. They wanted suitable modifications and amendments in the resolution.

They wanted an international independent inquiry into the alleged war crimes, human rights violations and ‘genocide’ of the Tamil race in the name of civil war against terrorism. The agitating lawyers burnt the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in effigy. They also got into an office room there and locked themselves in, causing commotion.

Police were on their toes to resolve the tense situation, after the lawyers made their way in, overpowering a strong police cordon.

Lawyers in Coimbatore have planned to observe a fast on Thursday and boycott courts till March 22.

In Mettupalayam, lawyers led by their President Kanagasundaram staged a demonstration and observed a one-day fast.

Students of the Ramakrishna Dental College staged a sit in strike, squatting inside the college premises in Avarampalayam area.

Students of a school in Kuniamuthur made their way into the office of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited on State Bank Road near Railway Junction.

A section of the students of Bharathiar University continued with their fast for the ninth-day.

In a protest organised by the Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Micro Enterprises here on Wednesday on the Sri Lanka issue, about 350 micro industry owners participated.

They picketed the Central Telegraph Office near the Collectorate. The agitation and resultant traffic hold up for a short while caused commotion.

Some of the agitators burnt Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in effigy. About 100 protesters were removed by the police.

Police said that peaceful protests in the form of sit in, demonstrations and fasting continued at various places across the city at over six places.

In the Coimbatore Rural district, protests were reported at over 20 places including effigy burning in Pollachi, besides a road blockade.

Our Tirupur Staff Reporter adds:

A total of 80 Sri Lankan refugees staying at the camp set up for them in Kangayam observed a dawn-to-dusk fast on Wednesday to condemn the ‘genocide’ in Sri Lanka during the war the government there waged with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

In Tirupur city, representatives of 14 textile associations observed fast on Sri Lankan issue.

Knit Cloth Manufacturers Association president ‘Ahill’ Rathinasamy, who was also the coordinator of the agitation, said the fast was observed to express solidarity with the crusades gaining momentum in the country against the Sri Lankan government.

He said that there should be an impartial trial against the human rights violations carried out by Sri Lankan president as well as a referendum on the creation of Tamil Eelam.

Senior members of various associations like Raja Shanmugam (Tirupur Exporters Association), V. Ponnusamy (South India Hosiery Manufacturers Association), T. R. Srikanth (Tirupur Export Knit Printers Association), Mani (Tirupur Industrial Federation), M.P. Muthurathinam (Tirupur Exporters and Manufacturers Association) and K. P. Govindasamy (Tirupur Export Knitwear Manufacturers Association), participated and spoke.

Fasts by students and people in general on Sri Lankan issue took place at Udumalpet, Palladam, Avinashi and near New Bus Stand in Tirupur.

The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) members burnt the Sri Lankan president in effigy near railway station on Wednesday and demanded that extreme punishment be given to the Lankan president, holding him responsible for the ‘war crimes’.

The police arrested 24 SDPI men for the said act as well as for staging road blockade near Head Post Office in Tirupur.

This apart, 65 members of Bharat Sena were also arrested when they attempted rail blockade to press their demand for an impartial inquiry into the human rights violations which allegedly took place during the war in Sri Lanka.

The agitators said that Sri Lankan government was responsible for the ‘genocides’ that had taken place in the island nation.

Lawyers in Tirupur, Kangayam, Udumalpet and Palladam courts boycotted work on the day in support of agitations that took place across the district on the Sri Lankan issue.

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