Over 280 Tamil workers from Kerala return to TN

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Mullaperiyar Dam
Theni, Dec 19:  Around 280 Tamils working in plantation estates in neighbouring Kerala have arrived here last week in the backdrop of alleged attacks on natives of Tamil Nadu following the escalation of the row over Mullaperiyar dam involving the two states, an official said.

District Collector K S Palanisamy told PTI that 286 workers, including 120 women, had arrived from Kerala in the last few days. Nearly 200 of the workers settled in Kerala had been accommodated at the panchayat union office in Thevaram town, while the others hailing from Kanyakumari, Namakkal and some other places were being sent to their home towns, he said.

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O.Panneerselvam last evening met the Tamils and consoled them. He also inspected the facilities provided to them, officials said.

The workers, who arrived here on Dec 16, told the Minister that there was no problem for their relatives, still staying in Kerala.

Meanwhile, Special Striking force police personnel have been deployed in the border areas to escort Tamils coming from Kerala through the forest route.

In a related development, hundreds of people blocked road traffic and raised slogans against Kerala Government, which has been insisting on a new dam to replace the exisisting Mullaperiyar reservoir, protesting the assault on innocent estate workers near Cumbum.

Similar protest was held in Gudalur also. Officials said buses to Kerala were not being operated via Kumily for the 13th day on Dec 18.

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