2,000 students from over 15 colleges took out a protest rally
Rail roko by lawyers, rally and road blockade by students and activists of political parties, marked the anti-Sri Lanka protests in and around the city on Tuesday.
More than 2,000 students from over 15 colleges took out a protest rally from Sivananda Colony. The rally witnessed a commotion when it reached the 100-feet Road - Sathyamangalam Road Junction.
The police had blocked the Dr. Nanjappa Road to divert the rally through Sidhapudur to reach V.K.K. Menon Road. They had parked Omni buses and erected barricades to block the road.
Students refused to take the diversion and argued with the police officials, demanding that the road be opened for the rally. Even as the arguments were on, a section of students removed the barricades resulting in windscreens of a couple of vehicles getting damaged.
Despite the presence of a posse of police, the students made their way through the barricades and reached the Gandhipuram signal. Protesting against the police action of diverting the rally being taken out for a public cause, students squatted on the road, which disturbed traffic flow for a brief period.
Meanwhile, a section of students barged into a Central Government office on Cross Cut Road and locked it from inside. Police had a tough time removing them from the office.
Students wound up their procession at the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party office on V.K.K. Menon Road, where a section of the Government Law College and Government Arts College students were on a fast since last Monday.
Students, who were part of the procession, exhorted the fasting students to give up their fast and get down to the field to step up the agitation even as the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka is set to be placed before the Human Rights Session of the United Nations in Geneva on Thursday. Conceding the request, the students wound up their fast. Later, student representatives reached the Collectorate to submit a memorandum.
Train service disrupted
Members of the Coimbatore Bar Association, led by their president P. Nandakumar and secretary M. Loganathan along with hundreds of lawyers, reached the Coimbatore Railway Junction and squatted on the track blocking the Coimbatore – Mettupalayam Passenger which was about to pull out of Platform No 2. On seeing the Alleppey – Dhanbad Express entering, a section of lawyers jumped on to the other track. The loco pilot who saw the agitators applied the breaks and stopped hardly a few feet away from the agitators. Lawyers got into the loco and police prevented the pilot from being assaulted. Train services were briefly disrupted for a while.
Even as the fast by eight Bharathiar University students entered the eighth day, students of Karpagam University, numbering over 25, also commenced a fast.
Activists of Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam commenced a fast at Gandhipuram traffic signal. For the second day on Tuesday, a section of residents in Pillayarpuram near Sugunapuram had black flags hoisted atop their houses. Residents of Mahalingapuram and Vellalore, including 50 women besides residents of Thennampalayam, also commenced a fast along the roadside.
Residents of Sri Lankan refugee camps at Booluvampatti near Thondamuthur and Vedar Colony numbering more than 200 each, observed a one-day fast expressing solidarity with the student community. Students of a private college in Sulur, students of a polytechnic and engineering college in Pollachi also staged a demonstration and observed a fast.
City Police on Tuesday registered a case under three sections of Indian Penal Code against eight students of the Government Law College for entering the office of the Principal General Manager – Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. Police identified the students as Ranjithkumar and seven others.
They were part of a group that stormed into the BSNL office to picket it.
Investigations are on.
Coimbatore City witnessed agitation by over 3,000 people at various places keeping the police literally on their toes.
Shouting slogans against the Union Government for not taking a hard stance against Sri Lanka, college students carried out road blockade agitation in the city and observed fast at Udumalpet, Gudimangalam, Mulanur and Palladam on Tuesday.
Students blocked the road near the Corporation Town Hall for four-and-a-half hours, which hit traffic in arterial roads like Kumaran Road, Tirupur-Avanashi Road and Tirupur-Uthukuli Road. No arrests were made.