Cauvery dispute: Stalin, party MLAs among 5,000 protestors held

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StalinAround 5,000 farmers and workers of political parties were detained at different places in Tamil Nadu such as Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirupur, Nilgiris and other districts on October 17, while attempting to stage a rail roko.

The rail roko was against the Centre for not forming a Cauvery Management Board, as directed by the Supreme Court. Once formed, the board will take control of dividing Cauvery water among the states. The farmers and political workers said that the BJP was against forming the board in view of the upcoming polls in Karnataka.

Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam treasurer MK Stalin took part in the protests. At Perambur, he led workers of DMK, Left, MDMK and other parties by staging a rail roko at Thanjavur and Cuddalore districts and stopped a suburban train. He was taken into police custody along with his party MLAs and others.

Police in large numbers were posted at Chennai Central, even as the 48-hour statewide rail roko began. More than 500 security personnel drawn from RPF, RPSF, Armed Reserve Police force and Karnataka Police kept a strict vigil at the railway station.

DMK south district secretary KN Nehru will stage a protest at Srirangam railway junction. On the second day, rail roko will be held in Trichy Town, Palakkarai, Pettaivaithalai, Manapparai railway stations and sections such as Bhoodhalur and Thiruvidaimaruthur sections in Thanjavur district and Thanjavur railway junction and Kolivenni section.

While this was so, an office-bearer of Tamil Nadu PWD Engineers’ Association Engineers said that the Centre should form the Cauvery board in line with the Interstate Water Disputes Act, 1956. Similarly, boards were set up in cases such as Narmada, Krishna and Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal Award, he added.

The technical team, headed by CWC chairperson GS Jha, will submit its report to the Supreme Court on October 17. The team went to Krishnaraja Sagar and Kabini dams in Karnataka, Mettur Bhavani Sagar dams in Tamil Nadu and delta farmers of Cauvery basins.