THANJAVUR: Tension prevailed at Karyapattinam village near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam on Sunday following arrest of seven persons who were on sit-in agitation against the proposed hydrocrabon project before Primary Health Centre building for the past one week on Saturday night.
Police, after arresting the persons at midnight, removed the pandal under which they were sitting in agitation. On Sunday, men of the village stayed indoors fearing arrest by the police. Women in large numbers gathered at Kazhaniappar temple and continued the sit-in agitation.
The police reached the temple and asked the women to disperse. When the women refused to go, the police suggested that they can approach the court instead of agitation.
However the women said that legal proceedings will take time. In the meantime auctioning of the project will be done by government on March 12 and work will commence, they reportedly told the police.
“We are on a sit-in agitation from March 3 only in view of auctioning of the project fixed on March 12. We want to stop it” the women said.
Police prevented people coming to the village for meeting the agitators by stopping them a few kms away from the village. Chandramohan, district secretary of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) who led a team of persons and went to meet the agitators was not permitted by the police initially.
Later a few persons were allowed to meet the women. Condemning the police crackdown, traders downed shutters today also.
The arrested persons were Saravanamuthu, co-ordinator of the agitation committee and six others.
Agitators said that they will continue the agitation till the proposed project was cancelled.
It may be recalled that central government gave permission to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) and Vedanta group for extracting hydrocarbon in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts last October. Vedanta group was given three off shore projects in Nagapattinam district.
Meanwhile, P.R. Pandian, co-coordinator of Thamizhaga Anaithu Vivasaya Sangangalin Orunginaippu Kuzhu, in a press release condemned the arrest of seven persons who were agitating against the proposed hydrocarbon project on Saturday night. He also condemned heavy police security in the village with a view to what he alleged “threaten” agitators.
The police, he alleged are trying to disturb the peaceful agitation of women in a temple. He appealed to the police to release the arrested persons.
As per the approvals given by the centre, hydrocarbon is to be extracted from zones which cover 2,574 sq km from Parangipettai to Vedaranyam, 731 sq km from Kullanchavadi to Tharangampadi and 1794 sq km from Marakanam to Cuddalore.
It may be recalled that the proposed hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal in Pudukkottai district was given up following
agitations by people for more than a year.
‘Gem Laboratories’ from Bengaluru, which was to extract hydrocarbon at Neduvasal left the place following agitation by the people....