THANJAVUR: Hundreds of cadres belonging to the Communist Party of India (CPI) and its front organisations courted arrest in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur on Monday after staging a gherao protest of the district collector offices to highlight their 10-point charter of demands, including declaring Tamil Nadu drought-affected and extending all attendant facilities.
A farmer, who had gone to participate in the stir in Tiruvarur swooned and fell dead at the venue. The farmer, Mahalingam (47) of Kovilur near Muthupettai in Tiruvarur district, who had come to participate in the agitation, swooned and fell down. Cadres rushed him to the Tiruvarur Medical College Hospital where doctors pronounced him brought dead. Mahalingam is survived by wife Amirthavalli and daughter Bagyalakshmi.
While police picked up around 345 cadres including 125 women in Thanjavur, hundreds were rounded up in Tiruvarur during the protest.
In Thanjavur, the gherao was led by Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam State general secretary V. Duraimanikkam and it saw the participation of CPI district secretary R. Thirugnanam, deputy secretary Uthirapathy, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam district president A. Panneerselvam, secretary B. Balasundaram, Tamil Nadu Vivasaya Thozhilalar Sangam district president V. Krishnan and secretary C. Pakkirisamy.
The demands included immediate constitution of the Cauvery Management Board, declaring Tamil Nadu drought hit and extending all attendant benefits, expediting rehabilitation measures in Vardah-hit Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, extending solatium of Rs. 25 lakh to the families of all those farmers who ended their life or died of shock following successive crop failure, extending Rs. 25,000 to agricultural labourers who have lost their livelihood, hiking the daily wages to Rs. 400 for Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, providing work on all days of the year, releasing the crop insurance payments for 2015-16, dropping the move to establish a singular water disputes tribunal to hear all cases and granting the balance amount due for all sugar cane farmers.
In Tiruvarur, cadres led by Tamil Nadu VivasayaThozhilalar Sangam State secretary Periyasamy staged a blockade of the District Collector’s office. CPI district secretary V. Selvaraj, Tamil Nadu Vivasaya Sangam district secretary Masilamani, district president Rangarajan, Tamil Nadu Vivasaya Thozhilalar Sangam district secretary R. Gnanamohan, district president Veerasamy, former MLAs V. Sivapunniyam, Palanisamy and Ulaganathan were among those who participated in the stir.