All the 13 routes from Tamil Nadu to Kerala remained sealed for hours on Wednesday disrupting the movement of goods and people after MDMK activists conducted an ‘economic blockade’ of Kerala protesting its stand on the Mullaperiyar dam issue.
The MDMK leader, Mr Vaiko, and the Tamil Nationalist Movement leader, P.Nedumaran, who led thousands of protestors to lay siege to the Kerala border at Kumily were arrested at Seelayampatti near Theni.
They were arrested while proceeding towards Uthamapalayam where prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPc were clamped.
MDMK had planned a meeting at Lower Camp earlier but as police denied permission, the party decided to shift the venue to Cumbum.
However, when Mr Vaiko, who commenced his journey from Theni in an open vehicle, was intercepted at Seelayampatti, hundreds of persons blocked the road and tried to prevent the police from arresting him. He finally persuaded them to disperse.
The MDMK leader accused the Congress-led Central government of betraying the interests of Tamil Nadu and its people and also criticised Kerala for refusing to heed the Supreme Court order to raise the water level in the dam to 142 feet.
More than 10,000 people gathered near Gudalur to protest Kerala’s stand on the dam issue. Traffic was completely disrupted in four border check posts in Idukki district following the protest.
Five check posts were closed down along the Palakkad border following protests from fringe outfits. On the national highway, K G Chavadi, Nadapunni, Meenakshipuram, Valanthai witnessed protests in which hundreds of people took part.
MDMK workers also organised protest at Aryankavu check post. Nanjil Sampath inaugurated the dharna.
Police blocked vehicles from Kerala at Aryankavu and those coming from Tamil Nadu were stopped at Tenkasi. The police swung into action and removed the protestors from the area by noon.
At Kalyikavila near Thiruvananthapuram, MDMK workers began the protest at 11 am and blocked the vehicles coming from Kerala. A large police posse led by the Kanyakumari SP, Ms Lakshmi and the Thiruvananthapuram rural SP, A. Akbar ensured there was no violence in the area.