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Lighter moments on track

Special Correspondent
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Pro-Tamil groups staging a rail roko at Coimbatore Junction on Tuesday. —Photo: J. Manoharan
Pro-Tamil groups staging a rail roko at Coimbatore Junction on Tuesday. —Photo: J. Manoharan

The agitation against India’s participation in CHOGM in Colombo was serious, yes, but, there were some hilarious incidents.

In Chennai, activists of an outfit defied police barricades at Chennai Central station and ran into platforms searching for trains. Some boarded locomotives of an express train that had pulled in, and raised slogans against Sri Lanka, unaware that Chennai Central was the train’s last stop! A few other protesters squatted on the track.

In another instance, a group of activists tried to stop a train that was about to be moved to the Basin Bridge Marshalling yard for routine checks. Exasperated policemen were seen trying to explain to them that the train was empty. However, the protesters insisted that they would move only after television crew and media photographers took visuals.

Since police had made elaborate security arrangements at railway stations, protesters were barred entry into railway stations at many places. Some pro-Eelam activists purchased tickets to travel in trains and later brought them to a halt by pulling the emergency chain.

A senior party functionary in Madurai was so tired after the hour-long agitation early on Tuesday morning that he dozed off soon after he was arrested and lodged in a marriage hall nearby. Others taken into custody along with him were told to maintain silence as the leader was taking rest.

As a large number of security personnel were deployed at major railway stations, small groups of people preferred to intercept trains at stations en route, and registered their protest.

Some boarded locomotives of an express train that had pulled in, and raised slogans against Sri Lanka, unaware that Chennai Central was the train’s last stop

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