Nagapattinam, Sep 12 (UNI) Tamil National Movement leader P Nedumaran, championing the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils, and about 500 of his supporters were arrested when they attempted to undertake a boat journey to the island nation, carrying food materials and medicines for the Tamils.
Nedumaran, a staunch supporter of the banned LTTE, had collected food materials and medicines, worth few crores, to be distributed to the suffering Tamils in the war-ravaged areas.
However, after the Centre refused permission and the Red Cross Society also expressed its inability to carry the relief materials, Mr Nedumaran decided to embark on a boat journey to Jaffna and distribute the materials by himself.
He arrived in this port town yesterday and when he went in a procession, along with his supporters, from the railway station to the Nagapattinam Port, this morning to board the boats, police arrested them.
Mr Nedumaran, who was detained at a marriage hall, threatened to so into fast unto death if he was sent to prison. The Tamil National Movement leader, who was arrested under the now defunct POTA, during the previous Jayalalithaa regime for supporting the outlawed LTTE, declared that he would continue to support the Tamils.
Mr Nedumaran charged both the Centre and Tamil Nadu governments with turning a blind eye to the plights of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, especially after the island's armed forces launched an offensive in the Tamil areas.
He alleged that the Sri Lankan Government was planning to annihilate the Tamils by depriving them of food and medicine by closing the National Highway and it was a pity that India was not extending a helping hand to the suffering Tamils.