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Cauvery issue: Tamil outfit warns of intensifying protests

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Chennai, April 16: Pro-Tamil outfit Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) on Monday warned of intensifying its agitation, including holding protests at the Marina in Chennai after leading anti-IPL protests in the backdrop of the Cauvery issue last week.

Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) Chief T. Velmurugan. PTI file photo

TVK chief T Velmurugan also warned of disrupting water supply to an aluminium company owned by Vedanta Resources as well to that of Southern Railway, as part of his outfit's intensified protests urging the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

Vedanta Resources also operates Sterlite Copper in Tuticorin district. Locals have been demanding the closure of the smelter plant, citing health concerns.

Speaking to reporters here, Velmurugan said as part of the Cauvery protests, TVK has planned to hold agitations at Marina beach, provided it was permitted by the court and the police. Following massive pro-Jallikattu protests at Marina last year which ended on a violent note, police have banned any kind of protests or demonstrations.

The Madras High Court is presently looking into a petition filed by farmers' leader P Ayyakannu seeking direction to the city police to permit him to stage a hunger strike for 90 days at Marina, demanding constitution of CMB. Velmurugan said, "If permission is provided by the court and police, we will stage protest (on CMB) without disturbing the public." His party could move the court on the matter, he said.

However, in the event of his party not getting a permission, he warned of staging another protest, elsewhere in Salem district. He claimed that water was supplied from the Mettur reservoir to Vedanta Resources company Malco, and threatened to disrupt its supply to the aluminium plant if the CMB was not immediately constituted.

TVK leader further alleged that underground water was being drawn from the Palar river to be supplied for Railways and threatened to disrupt its supply over CMB. Earlier, TVK was among the pro-Tamil outfits that had wanted the IPL fixtures to be transferred out of this city in in view of the raging Cauvery protests.

Velmurugan had earlier said that his party would let loose snakes, which are not poisonous, into the MA Chidambaram stadium if another IPL match was held at the venue here.

"If the IPL match is held on April 20 in Chennai as per schedule, I will hold the snake protest. I will let snakes into the stadium. There is no change in it," he had said last week.

His party workers had also picketed the MA Chidambaram Stadium hours before the first IPL tie here on April 10 between CSK and KKR, even as protests were held later that day by other outfits also.

Following the February 16 Supreme Court verdict, Tamil Nadu has been insisting that the court's order to the Centre to formulate a "scheme" referred to the setting up of the CMB and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC).

The Tamil Nadu government has recently moved the top court, seeking contempt action against the Centre for its "failure" to frame the scheme for the constitution of the CMB and the CWRC within six weeks from February 16.

The court had, last week, asked the Centre to frame a draft Cauvery management scheme and file it by May 3 for the implementation of its order on water distribution.


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