They want cases against their village members to be dropped

The fisherwomen from the Veerampattinam village on Monday started an indefinite hunger strike demanding that the police cases against several people from the village be dropped.

According to one of the women, Valli, the entire village had decided to boycott the elections, but instead of taking action against all the members only a select few were targeted. Now, the panchayat leaders of the village have been booked along with many of the leaders of the society.

Further, the Election Department has sealed the panchayat office, so even if there is an emergency they will not be able to make announcements, she said.

The women have taken a decision to continue their hunger strike until the cases against the members were dropped.

According to the police, the problem started on the day of polling, when a large group of people decided not to vote. Despite the panchayat passing an order that the people of Veerampattinam would not vote, around 1,500 people went ahead and exercised their franchise.

The day after the polls, there was unrest in the village, when the members who decided to vote were allegedly attacked by the others. The authorities were also forced to seal the panchayat office when announcements were made discouraging people of the village from voting on the day, the police said.

Cases were booked against a number of people and the police have also recommended that Section 144 of the Criminal Procedures Code be exercised against Viswanathan, Kalaivardan and Baskaran, all from the village panchayat. If this comes into force, the three will be banned from entering Puducherry for a period of two months. So far no decision has been taken on this case, sources said.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK has issued a statement asking for a re-election in the Ariyankuppam Assembly segment.

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