Thousands of people, including schoolchildren, thronged the venue of the Mullaperiyar agitation here on Friday as a relay hunger strike entered 1,806 days and an indefinite hunger strike entered the sixth day.

Many schools in the area declared a holiday on Friday to affirm their support to the agitation for decommissioning the Mullaperiyar dam.

Schoolchildren from remote areas reached here in the morning and the vehicular traffic was virtually blocked at various spots. They raised slogans supporting the strike.

Students of Sree Narayana School, Thoppipala; Government Higher Secondary School, Wagamon; Panchayat High School, Elappara; Technical ITC, Kattappana; John Paul Memorial College, Labbakkada; and Pavanatma College, Murickassery; reached the venue here.

Demonstrations and public rallies were simultaneously held at Vandiperiyar, Kumily, and Thodupuzha. Posters announcing the need for decommissioning the dam appeared at various junctions in the district. Members of non-governmental organisations, lawyers' organisations, and cultural societies reached here to support the agitating leaders.

The demonstration gathered momentum with the arrest and removal of C.P. Roy, chairman of the council, and Perumade MLA E.S. Bijimol, who completed five days of hunger strike.

Hundreds of people under the auspices of the Mullaperiyar Agitation Council staged a rally here to protest against the adamant stand of the State and Union governments in finding a speedy solution to the issue.

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