After days of simmering tension and sporadic violence in this border town over the Mullaperiyar dam issue, about 30000 people took out a peaceful procession in Cumbum, demanding that it be protected at all costs.
The processionists also demanded protection to Tamils living in estates in Kerala and other places in Idukki district. Officials said a labourer suffered serious burn injuries near Bodi when he tried to set himself ablaze, demanding that Kerala desist from its move to decommission the dam and also that the water level be increased from 136 feet to 142 feet as per the Supreme Court order.
He has been hospitalised. The raging row over the issue had sparked off violent incidents in border districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu over the past few days with protestors on both sides targetting shops and vehicles. Yesterday, a one-day special session of the Tamil Nadu assembly had passed a unanimous resolution, saying the state would in no way give up its rights over Mullaperiyar dam and accused Kerala of adopting deceiving tactics.
In Madurai, advocates of Bar Association today took out a procession in protest against the 'false propaganda' of Kerala on Mullaiperiyar. Some of them allegedly broke banners put up by a Kerala based jewellery company. About 300 CPI workers observed a fast in the city to protest against Kerala's stand on the issue and also needlessly spreading panic among its people. Officials said Theni district Palanisamy had contacted his counterpart in Idukki and requested him to provide protection Tamils there. He had also arranged for basic amenities to those who coming from Kerala.
Meanwhile 50 youths caused a flutter when they climbed a cliff in the local area and threatened to commit suicide demanding action against those who assaulted Tamils in Idukki district. They also wanted the Centre to find an amicable solution to the dam issue.