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Shops work normal; stir hits Delta life

Though several political parties, including DMK, INC, CPM, CPI, extended their support to the shutdown call given by farmers associations, the response from traders was poor. However, protests staged by members of the agricultural community received a great support across the Delta region on April 3.

Shops work normal; stir hits Delta life
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Law college students blocking a train in Chennai

Thiruchirapalli

While shops remained closed in Vedaranyam, Thalainayar and Mayiladuthurai in Nagapattinam district, business was as usual in other parts on Monday. On the contrary, protests in various places received good response in different places in the delta region. A series of demonstrations staged by farmers’ associations across the district kept the police on their toes. 

In several places farmers resorted to rail roko and road blockade to show their solidarity with the agitating farmers in Delhi. As the protesters marched to block trains in Nagapattinam and Sirkazhi, around 200 farmers and cadre were arrested and later released in the evening. Addressing the press in Nagapattinam, Cauvery S Dhanapalan, general secretary, Cauvery delta farmers association, said.

“The government should accept the demands of Tamil Nadu farmers protesting in New Delhi. The drought relief fund of Rs 1,748 crore announced by the Centre is pittance. Farmers have suffered the worst last year due to monsoon failure and inadequate release of water from Karnataka dams. So, the Centre should waive off all farm loans.” 

Meanwhile, in Thanjavur, as many as 64 farmers, who attempted to block the road and trains, were arrested. A section of farmers, led by M Chinnadurai of Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam, besieged the residence of AIADMK MP P Kumar and demanded him to meet the Prime Minister and convey their demands. Similar, protests were held in Ariyalur, Perambalur and Pudukkottai.

BKU offers support to TN farmers

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) led by Balbir Singh Rajewal on Monday offered its support to Tamil Nadu farmers protesting at Jantar Mantar. The southern state’s farmers protesting for the past 21 days have received support from various other outfits and political parties.  The farmers are demanding loan waiver, drought-relief package of  Rs 40,000 crore and setting up of  the Cauvery Management Board from the Centre. Rajewal said difference in language is not an issue as farmers across the country are facing similar problems. He said his outfit plans to hold such protests across the country after the harvest season. Tamil students studying at Jawaharlal Nehru University in the national capital are also expected to join the farmers on Tuesday.

IT staff come out in support of Delhi protesters

IT employees, who had gathered outside the Tidel Park and MPEZ in Chennai, to show solidarity towards the farmers’ protest in New Delhi and raise their voices against the hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal, were dispersed by the Police, who also took details of their ID cards and called up the respective HR departments.

Kumar S, a member of the New Democratic Labour Front (NDLF) IT Employees wing, said that since many of the IT employees hailed from farming backgrounds and villages across the State, they felt deeply about the farmer issue. 

“We wanted to show our solidarity. The idea was to make people assemble outside their workplaces, between 4-5 pm on April 3 and silently hold placards. It was a peaceful gathering. However, at Tidel Park, the Police dispersed the crowd and even took photos of the ID cards, to call the HR professionals and complain about the employees. The police had no right to do that. We are a trade union and we have the right to protest outside our workplaces, without getting the permission of the police,” said Kumar.  

Anbuchelvan, a 37-year-old software developer, said that this has created fear among some of the employees. “Complaining to the HR was uncalled for, as we were only peacefully showing our solidarity and a person, has a right to protest outside his office. The Police even took away our digital banners,” he added.  Suresh Sashimurugan, advocate and legal advisor for the union, said that people can protest outside their offices, without requiring obtaining from the police.

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