(G.N.S) Dt. 21
822 people, including 14 women, were arrested for violating Section 144 in Tirunelveli on Tuesday to protest against VHP’s ‘Ram Rajya Ratha Yatra’ which entered Tamil Nadu through this district from Kerala in the morning.
Later, over 2,200 workers affiliated to various political parties were arrested for staging road roko in different parts of Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts against the yatra. Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam founder Kolathur Mani and Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam general secretary Ku Ramakrishnan were detained at 4 am. Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam state deputy general secretary Maideen Shet Khan and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi state president M H Jawahirullah were also detained.
Naam Tamil Katchi coordinator Seeman and more than 100 party workers were arrested for resorting to road blockade near the Vanchinathan Statue in Sengottai. Around 400 memebrs of Manithaneya Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, led by state deputy secretary Kowbatcha, were also arrested. DML working president M K Stalin and several party MLAs were detained from different parts of TN for protesting against the yatra.
The yatra reached the inter-state border at Kottai Vasal near Puliyarai at 9:21 am. It was received by members of Travancore Devaswom Board and hundreds of VHP, RSS, BJP and Hindu Munnai supporters at Kottai Vasal. The supporters raised ‘Jai Sree Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogans, performed aarti and offered a floral tribute.
Accompanied by around 25 cars and vans and 200 two-wheelers, the yatra then proceeded towards Sengottai. As bikes choked the road, the yatra could cover only 17km and reach Sengottai only at 12:27 pm.
The rally then covered less than 5 kilometers in the next hour and reached Ilanjai. This delayed the procession, which was supposed to cross the district and enter Virudhunagar at 1 pm.
(G.N.S) Dt. 21