Nedumaran's indefinite fast enters fourth day

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Chennai, Sep 15 (UNI) The fast-unto-death launched by Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran, after he made a vain bid to carry relief materials to the Sri Lankan Tamils, entered the fourth day today, even as Chief Minister M Karunanidhi expressed regret that the leader had turned down his appeal to give up the fast.

Mr Nedumaran began an indefinite fast after he was prevented from undertaking a boat journey to Jaffna in the island nation from Nagapattinam port, carrying the relief materials to the Tamils on September 12.

Doctors, who examined the 74-year-old leader this morning, expressed concern over his deteriorating health condition. There was a rise in sugar level, while his blood pressure was low and pulse rate was slow, family sources said, quoting doctors.

The sources said Mr Nedumaran was steadfast in his decision that he would decide on ending the fast only after meeting the Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who is currently on an official tour to Salem and expected to return tomorrow.

Before leaving for Erode on September 13, the Chief Minister had despatched a letter, appealing Mr Nedumaran to give up his fast, stating that he shared his concern for the island Tamils and assuring him that he would take steps to send the relief materials.

However, Mr Neduamran turned down Chief Minister's appeal, stating that he would continue the fast till Mr Karunanidhi returned to the city and discussed the issue with him.

Meanwhile, Mr Karunanidhi expressed regret at Nedumaran turning down his fervent appeal to give up his fast. Despite his letter and appeals from leaders of various parties, it was saddening to note that Mr Nedumaran was firm on continuing with the fast, the DMK leader said in a statement.

Leaders, cutting across party lines, kept calling on the fasting leader and expressed solidarity with him. However, TNCC President M Krishnasamy took exception to Mr Nedumaran's supporters displaying the portrait of banned LTTE leader V Prabhakaran, who had been declared as a proclaimed offender in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

UNI

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