Chief Minister Oommen Chandy lamented on Wednesday that rumours about attacks on Tamils in Kerala were being spread in Tamil Nadu.

Briefing the media after two meetings of the Cabinet, the Chief Minister said some isolated incidents of attacks on Tamil pilgrims had occurred. The police had arrested the attackers. However, fictitious accounts of incidents were being spread. This was unfortunate.

Mr. Chandy said Kerala welcomed Sabarimala pilgrims with warmth, and people were keen that no hardship was caused to the pilgrims. All steps had been taken for their safety. However, wrong impressions were being created to foment discord between the people of the two States. The government had made arrangements to seek withdrawal of false news published in Tamil Nadu.

The Chief Minister said Kerala's stand on the Mullaperiyar issue was very clear. It was not something that could be opposed by Tamil Nadu as the State had no reservation in giving water to Tamil Nadu. The contention in the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly that the safety issue was being raised to obtain water for Idukki reservoir was borne out of wrong assumptions. If Tamil Nadu had any concerns in that regard, that could be addressed. He hoped that Tamil Nadu would come forward for talks.

Earlier, addressing a conference of editors and senior functionaries of newspapers and other media in Kerala, Mr. Chandy recalled that Tamil Nadu had declined repeated requests for talks whereas Kerala was always willing for talks either directly or in the presence of mediators. The problems faced by Malayalis in Tamil Nadu following escalation of the issue was a major concern to the State.

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