IPL 2018: Cauvery protesters throw shoes, removed by police during CSK-KKR game in Chennai
A couple of protesters opposed to the Indian Premier League match in Chennai in the middle of Tamil Nadu’s political agitation over the Cauvery water issue threw shoes from an upper tier at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. (CSK vs KKR UPDATES)
Kolkata Knight Riders were batting in the game against Chennai Super Kings when a few shoes were hurled from the upper tier of the stands opposite to the main pavilion. Two people were arrested for the same. (CSK vs KKR SCORES)
CSK’s Faf du Plessis, who is not playing in the match, and Ravindra Jadeja, fielding on the boundary, threw the two shoes that fell inside the ground. A couple of shoes also fell on the stands below.
Local organisers said the protesters, who were also carrying a red flag against rules, were removed from the ground by the police.
The match, CSK’s first at Chennai for almost two years, is going ahead under tight security after various political parties and farmers’ groups demanded that IPL organisers cancel the game or move it outside the state.
Players were asked to at least wear black badges. The toss was delayed by 15 minutes after the umpires arrived late.
Protesters burned merchandise and jostled with police outside the stadium, demanding Indian Premier League matches be cancelled as the southern city reels from a water crisis.
Hundreds of demonstrators, some wearing black t-shirts and waving black balloons, gathered near the venue shouting slogans ahead of the CSK-KKR game.
Police tried to force protesters on to buses outside the stadium in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state, where the Kings are to play their first home match since a two-year ban for illegal gambling was lifted.
All roads leading to the stadium came under a blanket of security to prevent anti-IPL activists from spoiling the show. Groups of protesters kept surging towards the stadium shouting slogans. A helicopter circled the sky over the Chepauk.
The teams had to enter the MA Chidambaram stadium through the back gate as the complex turned into a fortress with the deployment of hundreds of police personnel, many in riot gear.
Police chased away agitators in some places while one incident of protesters burning the CSK’s yellow jerseys was also reported.
The police have also issued a long list of restrictions for spectators, who will only be allowed to take their mobile phones inside the stadium. Spectators wearing a black shirt or tunic will not be allowed inside, said a police officer.
The drought-prone state has witnessed mounting protests in recent weeks over a disputed accord with neighbouring Karnataka on how to share water from the key Cauvery river, a hot-button issue in southern India.
(With agency inputs)