TAMIL NADU

Stir largely calm: DCP

In what appears to be a spontaneous protest organised through social media, a sea of protesters — men and women in almost equal measure — continued to descend on the sands of Marina.

The protest continued all through the night into Wednesday and the crowd continued to swell beyond 10,000 as more people joined those who had camped overnight opposite Vivekananda House.

Early in the day, representatives met Ministers D. Jayakumar and K. Pandiarajan. “We placed three demands. The Centres should promulgate an ordinance. The State should legally take steps to amend the PCA Act and ban PETA, ” said one of the representatives who met the Ministers.

As the crowd swelled, the protesters wanted the Chief Minister to come to the Marina and hold talks with them. Police could not persuade them to leave.

By night fall, the crowd had blocked the beach road near MGR Memorial and was protesting on the road forcing the police to use mild lathicharge.

While the protests were largely disciplined and non-violent, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Mylapore) V. Balakrishnan said that refusal to nominate representatives and lack of understanding of legal process proved to be stumbling blocks.

“It is an amorphous crowd that has passionately come together for a cause. Full credit to them for not indulging in violence,” he said.

There were stray instances of some disturbances, he said, adding that those are expected in any gathering of a large crowd. By sunset, families of the protesters brought food, medicines and water for those who were planning to camp on the beach for one more night.

Nagaraj, a protester who has been camping at the Marina, said the protesters have no intention of leaving until a solution was found.