A large number Communist Party of India (Marxist) cadres, including women, were taken into preventive custody when they attempted to picket Union government offices in 13 centres in Pudukottai district on Friday condemning the anti-people policies pursued by the Centre.

They demanded steps to check price rise, allotment of adequate funds for education and food security, free land site pattas to all the home-less people, drop the privatisation proposal, protection for industry and agricultural sector and arrest those involved in corruption and confiscation of their assets and recovery of black money. The protesters wanted the government to ensure education and employment opportunities for all.

In Pudukottai, party cadre were led by district secretary M. Chinnadurai. S. Rajasekaran, former MLA, led the agitation in Alangudi, and P. Shanmugam, CITU district president, led the agitation in Arimalam. CPI (M) cadres courted arrest in Pudupatti, Ponnamaravathi, Gandarvakottai, Iluppur, Viralimalai, Aranthangi, Avudaiyarkoil, Manamelkudi, and Keeranur in the district. A party release here said 683 party cadres courted arrest today.

In Karur district, the partymen attempted to picket the post offices in the district. G. Rathinavelu, former State committee member, led the agitation. K. Dorairaj, chairman of the State Control Commission of the party, led the agitation at Velayuthampalaiyam and K. Kandasamy, Karur district secretary of the party, in Kulithalai. Agitations were held in Thogamalai, Chinna Dharapuram, Krishnarayapuram, Tharagampatti, and Velayuthampalaiyam.

In Ariyalur district, police took into preventive custody 265 cadre. Manivel, district secretary of the party, led the agitation in T. Pazhur. Similar agitations were held in Jayamkondam, Andimadam, and Senthurai towns. A total of 78 CPI(M) cadre were taken into custody from Perambalur and Kaikalathur. Jothiram, State committee member, led the agitation in Perambalur.

Thanjavur: Over 1,000 people were taken into preventive custody in Thanjavur. The agitations were led by State Council member Mohammed Ali at Thanjavur, Sami Nadarajan, District Council member at Orathanadu, G.Neelamegam, Thanjavur District Secretary of CPI(M), at Peravurani, Budalur, V. Jeevakumar, district committee member, at Budalur. Agitations were held in Papanasam, Kumbakonam, Pattukottai, Thiruvonam.

Tiruvarur: 584 cadre were arrested at Tiruvarur, Mannargudi, Thiruthuraipoondi, Kodavasal, Peralam, and Nannilam.