The Tamil Nadu police on Friday evicted a group of farmers who protested on the banks of the Cauvery river near Tiruchirappalli, ANI reported. The farmers buried themselves in the sand along the river bank, demanding that the Cauvery Management Board, which will decide how Tamil Nadu and Karnataka share the river water, be set up immediately.
The protests came a day after unrest in Tamil Nadu’s delta districts, including in Tiruchirappalli, The Times of India reported. Thousands of protestors were detained across the state during a bandh organised by the Opposition on Thursday, who have alleged that Tamil Nadu’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government failed to convince the Central government to constitute the board, The Hindu reported.
The deadline to set up the board ended on March 29, after which the Centre asked the Supreme Court for six more weeks to set it up, citing the Karnataka elections that will be held in May. The Centre said that the constitution of the board ahead of the polls could lead to widespread outrage, and vitiate the election process.
The shutdown had brought Chennai and other cities to a standstill on Thursday, as markets remained shut and autorickshaws and mini buses stayed off the roads. Earlier in the day, the Chennai Police detained Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Working President MK Stalin, who spearheaded the protests. By evening, however, the statewide strike had ended, and bus services between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka resumed.
On Friday, leaders from across the state held an all-party meeting in Chennai to discuss the matter.
Meanwhile, in Karnataka, Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha President Vatal Nagaraj protested at the inter-State arch on the Karnataka side of the border near Attibele, and announced a “Karnataka bandh” on April 12. Nagaraj is also believed to have warned against the screening of films of actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan in the state.