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Masinagudy residents protest against forest-related rules; threaten to boycott poll

Special Correspondent
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Observe bandh condemning restrictions imposed by the Forest Department

Protest: Commercial establishments down shutters during the bandh at Masinagudy on Wednesday. — Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy
Protest: Commercial establishments down shutters during the bandh at Masinagudy on Wednesday. — Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy

Life in Masinagudy near here came to a standstill on Wednesday with people belonging to various sections of society responding to a call given by the Masinagudy Residents Livelihood Rights Restoration Action Committee to observe a bandh in protest against restrictions on various activities allegedly imposed by the Forest Department.

With jeeps, taxies etc not plying, the roads wore a deserted look.

At a public meeting in which the residents participated with black badges, the organisers pointed out that the bandh was part of a series of demonstrations planned to draw the attention of the government to the problems confronting Masinagudy and its residents.

Grazing cattle

Claiming that the forest-related rules, among other things prevented them from grazing cattle, cultivating crops, travelling at night and putting up buildings, they demanded the lifting of the ban on night traffic on Thalaikundah-Kalhatty- Masinagudy- Theppakadu road, the withdrawal of the order declaring Mudumalai as a Tiger Reserve and reconsider the proposal to create an elephant corridor in the area.

The Tamil Nadu Preservation of Private Forest Act should be repealed.

They said that the residents will boycott the Assembly elections and also stage continuous road blockade agitations.

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