Two anti-pipeline activists held, released on bail

They allegedly intimidated workers engaged by GAIL to lay the pipeline

May 23, 2019 01:06 am | Updated 01:06 am IST - NAGAPATTINAM

Two activists were arrested on Wednesday on charges of intimidating workers laying a gas pipeline at Umayalpuram a few days ago. They were let off on bail.

Balan, general secretary of the Tamil Desa Makkal Munnani, and Vishnu Kumar, a district-level functionary of the outfit, had, along with the organiser of Tamil Nadu Nilam Neer Padukappu Iyakkam K.M. Iraniyan, allegedly intimidated workers engaged by GAIL (India) Limited to lay the pipeline between ONGC’s field in Madhanam and Memathur.

The police booked cases under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 147 (rioting) and 506(1) (criminal intimidation) of the IPC against them. While Iraniyan was arrested and remanded in judicial custody on the day of protest, the two were on the run. The police arrested them here and produced them before the Judicial Magistrate, Mayiladuthurai, who granted them bail.

Iraniyan, who was lodged in the Tiruchi Central Prison, was to have come out on bail on Wednesday, but was arrested in another case booked by the Thiruvenkadu police earlier and remanded in judicial custody by the Sirkazhi court.

Meanwhile, stepping up their protest against the laying of the pipeline, a group of farmers entered a field in Thenpathi and raised slogans demanding an immediate halt to the project. However, no arrest was made.

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