Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: A handloom weaver of Karur district who set himself on fire demanding protection to Sri Lankan Tamils succumbed to burns at the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital here early on Saturday.

A. Sivanandham alias Jeeva (46) attempted to commit suicide in front of the office of the State Election Commission at Vadapalani on Friday. He suffered serious burns and was admitted to the hospital where he died at around 1 a.m., police said and added that the body was taken to his native village Vengalamedu.

140 women held

A large number of women who staged a road-roko agitation on the Rukmani Lakshmipathy Salai were taken into custody. The women raised slogans urging Congress president Sonia Gandhi to intervene and put an end to the ongoing war in Sri Lanka.

The women representing ‘Tamil Nadu Women Federation’ came to Thayagam, headquarters of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam where 20 women were staging a fast demanding ceasefire in Sri Lanka. They attempted to take out a procession to Satyamurti Bhavan, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee headquarters, when police stopped them. The agitators sat on the road blocking traffic for sometime. Those arrested, including 14 visually challenged women, were released in the evening.

The 20 women belonging to the ‘Women’s Organisation against the killing of Eelam Tamils’ commenced a fast-unto-death agitation at Kolathur where the body of Muthukumar, the youth who committed suicide for the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils on January 29, was placed, shifted to Thayagam later. They urged Ms. Gandhi to take steps to stop the war in the island nation. As the fast entered the sixth day on Saturday, ambulances were stationed near the venue, police sources said.