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Pro-Eelam outfit members court arrest

Madurai Bureau
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They block trains at various places demanding that India boycott CHOGM

Various political parties staging a rail roko at Melur railway station in Tuticorin on Tuesday.— Photo: N.Rajesh
Various political parties staging a rail roko at Melur railway station in Tuticorin on Tuesday.— Photo: N.Rajesh

Police arrested about 400 members of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and other pro-Eelam outfits when they blocked or attempted to block trains in the two districts on Tuesday, demanding that India boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Colombo.

Normal life, however, remained unaffected as the bandh, called by the Tamil Nadu Traders’ Federation and backed by the MDMK, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), Naam Tamizhar Katchi (NTK), Tamizhar Desiya Podhuvudamai Katchi, Tamizhar Desiya Iyakkam and Periyar Peravai, evoked little response. Shops remained open and public and private vehicles were plying as usual.

The police said Rameswaram-Madurai passenger train was blocked by the MDMK members at Pamban around 6 a.m. and by the NTK activists, led by party district secretary Kan Ilango, near Sakkarakottai at 7 a.m.

They detained the train for about 25 minutes before the police removed them.

At Ramanathapuram, the police arrested MDMK volunteers, led by its district secretary ‘Ramanathapuram’ Raja, and MMK volunteers when they attempted to enter the railway station.

Meanwhile, another group of MDMK men blocked Tiruchi-Rameswaram passenger as it was entering the station. Volunteers of the two parties also blocked a train at Paramakudi. The police arrested six activists of the Tamizh Puligal, when they climbed a BSNL mobile tower in Sayalkudi. In Sivaganga district, the trains were blocked at Devakottai Rasta, Sivaganga, Thirupuvanam, Manamadurai and Karaikudi, the police also said.

Tirunelveli

A total of 603 protestors were arrested in Tirunelveli district when they tried to block trains. The police arrested 408 MDMK cadres when they attempted to block rail traffic at Valliyoor, Sankarankovil, Ambasamudram, Cheranmahadevi, Shencottai and Tenkasi.

At Tirunelveli Junction, the police arrested 79 MDMK functionaries, including party general secretary Vaiko’s younger brother V. Ravichandran.

The police also arrested 116 members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), NTK, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Thamizhaga Vaazhvurimai Katchi.

Most shops remained open in the district, except in Ambasamudram, Kallidaikurichi and Veeravanallur where over 90 per cent of the shops downed shutters.

Kanyakumari

In Kanyakumari district, 224 members of the MDMK, Kamaraj Narpani Mantram, SDPI, Popular Front of India, Thamizhaga Vaazhvurimai Katchi and Kumari District Traders’ Forum were arrested when they attempted to block rail traffic at Nagercoil.

Tuticorin

A total of 221 members of various political parties, including the MDMK and Tamilaga Vazhvurimai Katchi, Aathi Tamillar Peravai, courted arrest at Tuticorin Melur railway station and Kovilpatti on Tuesday while trying to block trains.

Several shops in Tuticorin, Tiruchendur, Udangudi, Arumuganeri, Athoor and Mukkani downed shutters.

Dindigul

Over 300 members of various political parties were arrested in Dindigul for staging four rail rokos within three hours. Thirty SDPI members blocked Tirunelveli-Mayiladuthurai passenger at 11.25 a.m. raising slogans against Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa. The police arrested them.

Within a few minutes, 150 cadres of the MDMK, Naam Thamizhar and Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam blocked Tirunelveli-Erode passenger. Later, 50 members of the Dindigul Bar Association stopped Guruvayur-Chennai Express.

The police stopped 50 TMMK cadres who tried to block another train at the station. Meanwhile, Palani-Dindigul passenger train was blocked by 24 SDP members in Palani, and they were all arrested.


  • Shops remained open and vehicles plied as usual in Ramanathapuram district

  • Normal life remained unaffected as bandh evoked little response


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