The border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala near Kumily witnessed tense moments on Saturday as thousands of people, mostly farmers from the Tamil Nadu side, marched towards the Kumily check-post as part of a protest against the stand of the Kerala government on the Mullaperiyar issue.
Some protesters entered Kerala despite efforts of the Tamil Nadu police, and threw stones at some houses in Rosapookandam. The Kumily police took three persons into custody in connection with the attack. They were identified as Chellapandi, Raghupathi and Murugan. They were handed over to the Tamil Nadu police. Two police officials and a local resident were injured in the attack, according to police sources in Kerala.
Earlier, farmers from Surulipatti in Tamil Nadu took out a procession and reached Goodalur to join a protest agitation.
People from Cumbum and Kamayagoundenpatt too congregated in Goodalur. Around 20,000 persons picketed Theni-Kumily Ghat Road. When they started moving towards the Kerala side, the police attempted to stop them at four points. But many of them managed to move past the police barriers. Again, some of the protesters were stopped near a bridge. But a few of them jumped off the road and moved into forests to reach the Kumily check-post.
Hundreds of farmers came on two-wheelers to Kumily. One protester was attacked on the Kerala side, according to the Tamil Nadu police.
Over 4,000 people congregated at the TNSTC bus depot. A strong police force did not allow them to move further. The situation turned worse owing to the failure of the first round of peace talks between agitators and officials in Uthamapalayam on Saturday night. When officials wanted the agitators to allow at least movement of lorries to transport essentials to Kerala, representatives of various associations protested. Collector K.S. Palanisamy promised to give protection and restore peace across the border. But the agitators paid no heed. Efforts of South Zone IG Rajesh Das in this regard also failed.
A private milk processing farm at Veerapandi was attacked and a milk van was intercepted and the milk in it was poured on the street.