Chennai

IPL in Chennai gets off to a stormy start amid protests

Raising the pitch: Protesters being taken away in a van after they were arrested in Chennai on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The IPL match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders was held in a tense atmosphere here on Tuesday, with thousands of protesters blocking all roads leading to the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in the evening.

A protester, believed to be a member of the Naam Thamizhar Katchi founded by film director Seeman, hurled a footwear inside the stadium holding up the match briefly.

The police whisked him away, along with fellow protesters.

At least eight protesters, including three who waved Naam Thamizhar Katchi flags and raised slogans in support of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB), were arrested.

Fans thrashed

A few fans of CSK proceeding to the stadium were thrashed by some protesters and forced to remove their yellow jerseys.

The protesters also set fire to a few CSK jerseys. Consequently, a few fans faced an embarrassing time as they did not have a shirt to wear and hurriedly hopped into cars and autorickshaws.

Earlier in the day, MLAs Thamimum Ansari of the Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi and Karunas of the Mukkulathor Puli Padai, and film directors Bharathiraja, Ameer, Gowthaman and lyricist Vairamuthu were among a large number of people arrested while trying to march towards the stadium. They raised slogans condemning the Centre for not forming the CMB and urged the IPL authorities to cancel the match.

While the match was slated for 8 p.m., the protesters blocked part of Anna Salai, Wallajah Road and Kamarajar Salai around 5 p.m.

After incidents of stone-pelting on shops were reported on Wallajah Road, police resorted to a mild lathi charge to disperse some unruly agitators. Senior police officials, including Additional Commissioners of Police M.C. Sarangan, H.M. Jayaram prevailed upon the protesters to give up their agitation.

A large posse of police personnel arrested the protesters and took them away in buses. Personnel of the Rapid Action Group were deployed around the stadium.

All spectators were thoroughly frisked by a two-layer security protocol comprising private security guards and the State police.

Amid reports that protesters would spring a surprise by resorting to various forms of agitation during the match, hundreds of police personnel, including many in plainclothes, were deployed in all stands.

At 8.35 p.m., a slipper was hurled into the field by a spectator who was whisked away by the police. Some members owing allegiance to the Naam Thamizhar Katchi raised slogans displaying their party flags. They were forced out by the police.

More security personnel were deployed following the incidents.


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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 3:19:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ipl-in-chennai-gets-off-to-a-stormy-start-amid-protests/article23496539.ece

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