Mullaperiyar row: Sabarimala pilgrims left stranded

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Mullaperiyar Dam
Kerala, Dec 6: The Kerala Police on Monday, Dec 5 banned any gathering of more than five people for the next few days near Kumily town, Idukki after protestors from Kerala and Tamil Nadu clashed over the Mullaperiyar dam, an issue of constant tension between both the states.

Jacob Punnoose, Director General, Police said that prohibitory orders were being brought down to ensure that the areas in and around Kumily return to normalcy.

The orders however, affected Sabrimala pilgrims, who were stranded at Kumily town, which is one of the main entry points to the hill temple.

"We have rushed additional police forces to the areas and the issue is reported to have broken out in the forest areas of the border. I have spoken to my counterpart in Tamil Nadu," said Punnoose.

Tension prevailed when vehicles owned by Keralites and Kerala establishments were attacked on the borders.

"Nothing should be done to vitiate the good friendly relations that Kerala and Tamil Nadu share. There should be no violence at all as it would dent the proposed talks that will take place shortly between the two states," said Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy.

"The Supreme Court appointed empowered committee is arriving to visit the Mullaperiyar Dam shortly and absolute restraint has to be there because talks will be successful only if absolute peace and calm is there," said Chandy.

"The Director General of Police has been asked to see that action is taken against law breakers. Tamil Nadu has assured us that they will deal strongly with those who violate the law," Chandy added.

The Mullaperiyar Dam has been in the news for quite sometime. While Tamil Nadu is adamant that Kerala increase the water level in the dam, Kerala wants the water level to be reduced from the current 136 feet to 120 feet.

Kerala is also willing to construct a new dam so as to supply water to Tamil Nadu, which is being opposed by the latter fearing loss of control over the dam.

Various groups in Kerala have also come forward with protest on the grounds that the dam cannot withstand higher magnitude earthquakes and posed threat to the lives of at least three million people in Idukki, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala.

OneIndia News

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