For the second successive day on Thursday, students of various colleges rallied behind the Sri Lankan Tamils seeking a separate Eelam and an independent international probe into what they called genocide of Tamils in the island nation.
The students’ rally that began at around 11.30 p.m. from Kattabomman Statue went through the arterial bus route and reached the Madurai district court complex at around 2.45 p.m.
The students expressed their anger against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakshe by carrying an effigy in a funeral-like manner all through the procession route. It was later set on fire.
The agitators wore masks with the photographs of Balachandran, son of Liberation Tiger of Tamil Elam leader Prabhakaran, who was shot dead by the Sri Lankan army.
Their slogans did not spare Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram and Janata Party president, Subramanian Swamy. The strong posse of policemen accompanying them and deployed en route did not deter the boisterous students from pulling down a flag pole of Congress party.
The students also took away the party flag. Besides, they tore the posters containing the photographs of Sonia Gandhi from book shops and the small advertisement boards of a mobile phone operator, as a mark of protest for its operation in Sri Lanka. The students declared that they rejected US-sponsored resolution and condemned the continuous attack by Sri Lankan Navy on the Tamil fishermen.
Effigy of Rajapakshe was also burnt by cadre of Mallar Nadu Mallar Kazhagam near the Ambedkar Statue.
Few advocates burnt an effigy of Sonia Gandhi in front of the district court, the police said. Students and drama artistes observed fast at different places.
Three cadre of Tamil Puligal were prevented by the police when they attempted for self-immolation near the Collectorate. After drenching themselves with kerosene, they tried to light themselves when the police held them.
Villagers of Keezhaiyur near Melur shut shops as a mark of their protest and observed fast.
Doctors under the banner of Indian Medical Association took out a rally from Government hospital in Melur and later handed over a memorandum to the Melur Tahsildhar.