Nagapattinam, Sep 12: Tamil Nationalist Movement Leader P Nedumaran, championing the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils, was arrested along with about 500 of his supporters when they attempted to undertake a journey by boat to the island nation carrying food and medicines for the community.
A staunch supporter of the banned LTTE, Mr Nedumaran had collected food and medicines worth a few crore for distribution to suffering Tamils in the war-ravaged areas of Sri Lanka.
However, after the Centre refused permission and the Red Cross Society expressed its inability to carry the relief materials, Mr Nedumaran decided to embark on a boat journey to Jaffna and distribute the materials himself.
When boatmen refused to ply Mr Nedumaran to Jaffna, he sat on a fast and was arrested with his supporters. He had arrived in this port town yesterday.
The Tamil Nationalist Movement leader, who was arrested under the now defunct POTA during the previous Jayalalithaa regime for supporting the LTTE, declared he would continue to support the Tamils.
Mr Nedumaran charged both the Centre and the Tamil Nadu Governments with turning a blind eye to the plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, especially after the island nation's armed forces launched an offensive in the areas inhabited by them.
He alleged the Sri Lankan Government was planning to annihilate the Tamils by depriving them 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.