Chennai: With the Supreme Court’s destroying dreams of AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala becoming the Chief Minister, Golden Bay Resort, Koovathur, where the majority of the ruling party MLAs is holed up out of their ‘free will’ was on tenterhooks, throughout the day.
The otherwise eerily silent neighbourhood came under thick security cover since Monday night, while the arterial roads and other roads leading to the resort were barricaded.
Vehicular movements were barred beyond Marakkanam from Puducherry and Kovalam from the city. All vehicles were diverted to go around Koovathur wreaking havoc on the commuters from the village, and passersby.
The resort was provided two-tier protection with cops especially striking force stood guard inside and outside the resort. A posse of media-persons had descended on the façade of the resort, which is located on the backwaters and surrounded by coconut groves.
The TV channels that were beaming live the waves of interviews from the lot of MLAs who were repeatedly briefing the media about their ‘free will’ stay at the resort, which is made up of decentralised cottages in the sprawling campus.
While the entire media was locked out of the resort until night, Jaya TV was the only media house that enjoyed unrestricted access.
AIADMK men were granted access only after the AIADMK leaders from inside the came up to the gates to identify them. The lens-persons had another Herculean task of keeping the interviewee within their frame by climbing over the barricades and the compound wall of the resort.
Furthermore, there was no arrangement of even basic facilities made for the huge media-congregation. The tension had forced Kuvathur people to down their shop-shutters, and the khakis had their poorly packed ‘working’ lunch served in 3-instalments from 4 pm onwards.
Safe drinking water too became a luxury for cops especially women cops, and media, and dehydration became the norm of the day. Post-conviction, AIADMK leaders especially ministers and MPs began reacting to the development after announcing the election of Edappadi K. Palanisamy as the leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party.
The circus continued with the AIADMK legislators returning to register their views with Sasikala remaining elusive to the media throughout the day since the verdict came out. DC learnt that the sulking mood was uniform in the entire camp and the obvious unease prevailing among the MLAs.
2,000 cops take guard
Nearly 2,000 cops are taking the guard in Kuvathur with two IGs – N.K. Senthamaraikannan (north zone) and V. Varadharaju (central zone) supervising the deployment and security. They were assisted by two SPs J. Mutharasi (Kancheepuram) and C. Vijayakumar (Cuddalore) and 8 DSPs.
The strength of nearly 300 cops was drawn from all 46 police stations from Kancheepuram district, which left the routine policing across the district.
Besides strengths were drawn from Tamil Nadu Special Police, Armed Reserve, and Home Guards.
The district administration had clamped down prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC, between Koovathur and Kalpakkam. The jurisdiction also covers the resort where the MLAs were holed up. Education Minister ‘Mafoi’ K. Pandiarajan who declared that he would meet the MLAs at Golden Bay Resort was prevented at Kovalam itself citing the prohibitory orders....