A total of 1,261 farm labourers, including 802 women, were arrested by police in Thanjavur district on Tuesday when they took part in “rasta roko” agitation demanding payment of Rs. 148 a day fixed by the Centre for Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) works.

The agitation was organised by All India Kisan Sangh of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M). They said that amount was not paid and only Rs. 110 or Rs. 120 had been paid.

In many village panchayats, work had not been given. They said women should not be allocated farm pond work. They alleged that payment had not been made for more than six months for the works completed in some villages. Weekly payment through bank accounts should be strictly adhered to, they said.

At Thanjavur, workers led by A. Pakkirisamy, District Secretary of the sangh participated in rasta roko agitation near the old bus stand. Traffic had been affected for 15 minutes. Nearly 152 persons, including 118 women, were arrested by the police.

Agitation was held at Sanoorappatti, Budalur four road junction, Pathirakudi near Thohur, Pazhamaneri near Thirukattuppalli, Kandiyur, Ayyampettai, Semmankudi near Nachiyarkoil, Uranipuram near Thiruvonam, Pattukottai, Thamarankottai, and Innambur near Kumbakonam.