The political tussle over the Mullaperiyar dam has gone beyond campaigns, fasts and sloganeering this week.
A day after the street battle in the Kerala border town, Kumily, certain areas in Tamil Nadu experienced stray cases of violence.
In Chennai many shops and hotels owned by Keralites were attacked. Police also foiled a bid to attack a Kerala-based popular jewellery firm in the heart of the city. A Kerala-bound bus was set on fire in Theni district in southern Tamil Nadu. Violent incidents were reported from Coimbatore, Salem and Madurai.
Upping the ante Kerala has decided to send an all-party delegation to Delhi next week to brief the Prime Minister about its position. “We are firm on our stand — safety for Kerala and water to Tamil Nadu. We are ready to give any assurance to TN in this regard,” said Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy.
At least 19 residents of the Mullaperiyar area moved Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking immediate decommissioning of the old dam. Citing recent tremors and fear psychosis they sought protection to their life and property.
Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan observed a daylong fast in Chappath, the town closest to the controversial dam. “Please don’t kill the people who have been providing water to you for 116 years,” he appealed to his audience.
Meanwhile, in Delhi the issue figured prominently in both houses of Parliament. In Rajya Sabha members from both states clashed over the issue, seeking the centre’s immediate intervention.