The Malayalee Association of Tiruchirappalli, a registered body functioning in the city for the last few decades, unanimously condemned Kerala's stand for a new dam to replace the 116-year old Mullaperiyar dam, association President P T Joy and General Secretary M K Abdul Nasar told reporters here.
The association comprises of over 5,000 members of which over 1,000 are engaged in trade and commercial activities here for the last several decades. Joy and Nasar expressed anguish over incidents of alleged attacks on Tamils in Kerala and noted that Tamils maintained cordial ties with Keralites especially traders who received 'excellent patronage' to their business activities.
They also announced that shops, including jewellery and ayurvedic medicine stores and clinics numbering around 1,000 operated by the association members would remain closed on December 22 expressing solidarity with Tamils and supporting Tamil Nadu Government.
A Theni report said a private tourist van driver suffered serious injuries when he attempted to commit self-immolation demanding protection of rights of Tamil Nadu on the dam.
S Jeyaprakash doused himself with petrol and set him ablaze shouting slogans against the Central Government near the bus stand in Theni. The driver, whose operations were affected due to the protests in Kerala, was rushed by the public to local hospital where he was given first aid and referred to Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai.
Doctors said the driver suffered 70 per cent burn injuries and his condition was very critical.