Chennai: As Chennai Super Kings (CSK) braces to take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) this evening amid protests over delay in Cauvery Management Board (CMB), around 4,000 police personnel have been pressed in at MA Chidambaram or Chepauk Stadium in Chennai to ensure the Indian Premier League (IPL) match is played without any disruption or untoward incidents.
Political parties and fringe groups have been demanding cancellation or postponement of all seven IPL matches in Chennai till the Centre constitutes the CMB. They are even asking spectators to boycott the matches.
The protesters feel that empty galleries would send a strong message to the Centre which they say is defying the Supreme Court order by not forming the neutral body which would independently assess and share Cauvery waters between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu according to the water sharing deal.
Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) workers carried out protests outside MA Chidambaram Stadium ahead of CSK vs KKR IPL match, carrying balloons stating, 'We do not want IPL, we want Cauvery Management Board," but they were immediately removed by the police and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association who were on their toes.
Tough restrictions have been imposed amid reports that some groups were planning to stage protests and wave black flags inside the stadium during the match. Therefore, spectators won't be allowed to carry banners, festons, mobile phones, cameras or any other gadget to the venue. They've also been warned against use of abusive language.
All roads leading to the stadium will have tight police cover to keep protesters at bay.
Calling IPL matches in Chennai amid widespread Cauvery protests an embarrassment, superstar-turned-politician Rajinikanth on Sunday said, "If they don’t cancel, at least they should allow players and spectators to wear black badges."
IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla met Union Home Secretary Rajeev Gauba over security regarding matches in Chennai. Gauba has assured Shukla that appropriate arrangements have been made.
Speaking to ANI, Shukla said, “Tamil Nadu government and Chennai police has assured that security will be provided. I met Home Secretary, who spoke to the DGP, gave instructions that full security should be provided to the spectators, players and untoward incidents should not happen.”
Karnataka is against the Cauvery board as it doesn't want to lose control of its dams. The ruling BJP, political parties in Tamil Nadu claim, doesn't want to form the body as it could upset poll-bound Karnataka....