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Re-desilting of tank: DMK men held en masse in Salem

Hundreds of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) cadre and functionaries, including present and past MLAs, were arrested by the police for resorting to road blockades at various places and picketing the Salem District Collectorate as ruling party men continued re-desilting Kacharayan Tank near Konganapuram in Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s assembly constituency.

Re-desilting of tank: DMK men held en masse in Salem
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DMK cadre picketing the Salem District Collectorate on Wednesday

Coimbatore

Trouble began when revenue officials allegedly granted permission to the ruling party men to desilt the Kacharayan Tank, sprawling on seven acres on Monday night. DMK cadres claimed that about a month ago officials refused to accept the request of farmers and the party men for desilting the tank. The petitioners then sent their request to the Sankagiri Revenue Divisional officer through registered post. 

Since there was no reply, the DMK cadre and farmers started desilting the tank about three weeks ago and strengthened the bund earlier this week. 

DMK alleges that following the Chief Minister’s visit to his constituency last week, the administration had allowed the ruling AIAMDK men to re-desilt the tank with the view to destroying the work done by the opposition ahead of Stalin’s scheduled visit to the tank on Thursday.

Following a strong protest by DMK cadre, the re-desilting was stalled around 5 pm on Tuesday. However, on Wednesday morning the cadres grew furious as the re-desilting works resumed. Hundreds of cadres and functionaries resorted to road blockades at various places in the city and rural Salem. 

Led by Salem West district secretary SR Sivalingam, hundreds of cadre tried to block the Salem to Coimbatore national highway at Magudanchavadi. 

Despite resistance from the police, they blocked the road but were arrested. The party sources said that four persons including two women were injured in the police lathi charge and were rushed to the Salem Government Hospital. 

They raised slogans condemning the act of the government just because the re-desilting works were carried out by the DMK. They also criticized the district administration and the police for acting on the wrong directions of the State Government. 

Sivalingam said that they will not budge for use of force by the police and as planned Stalin will visit the tank on Thursday. Over 200 cadres led by MLA and Salem City District secretary Panamarathupatti R. Rajendran were arrested for taking out a procession and picketing the District  Collectorate.

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