Staff Reporter

Volunteers from Exnora Clubs and residents' welfare associations hold meeting

  • Exnora chief writes to Chief Minister
  • "Narayanaswamy only protecting water bodies"
  • Activists to meet cost of legal battle

    TAMBARAM: The arrest of social activist S.P. Narayanaswamy on Friday on charges of damaging a dustbin near his home in suburban Pammal has drawn the ire of civic groups and voluntary organisations.

    Civic activists on Saturday met to register their protest over the arrest. They wanted the government to acknowledge the efforts taken by people such as Mr. Narayanaswamy in protecting local water bodies.

    About 150 volunteers from 43 Exnora Innovators Clubs and 34 federations of residents' welfare associations participated in the meeting where speakers did not mince words while lashing out at officials and the police for arresting the activist.

    Charges foisted

    Exnora founder M.B.Nirmal told reporters later that the charges were foisted. Exnora was looking after solid waste management and it had eliminated the concept of dustbins, Mr. Nirmal said. His colleagues charged that dustbins were installed outside Mr. Narayanaswamy's house to frame charges against him.

    In a letter to Chief Minister, Exnora said the arrest was a "black mark" on the administration and demanded his unconditional release.

    Mr. Narayanaswamy had approached the Madras High Court seeking directions to protect the Tirupananthaal lake near Pallavaram from serving vested interests, the letter said and wanted an impartial enquiry into the incident. The civic activists said Mr. Narayanaswamy and others in Pammal were only protecting water bodies, a responsibility of the local body and the Kancheepuram district administration. Speakers said their struggle for protecting water bodies and other natural resources would only get intensified after the arrest incident. They came forward to meet the cost of the legal battle to protect Mr. Narayanaswamy.

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