Pro-Tamil groups carried out massive anti-IPL protests in Chennai on Tuesday with scores of activists, including film directors, being detained.
Alleging that the Indian Premier League IPL was being organised to divert attention from the raging Cauvery protests across the state, pro-Tamil groups like the Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) and a forum of Tamil film directors had given a boycott call of the game.
As the MA Chidambaram Stadium hosts its first IPL tie since May 2015, the boycott call drew huge supporters. Hundreds of activists of outfits like TVK, Naam Tamizhar and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), besides some Muslim groups, staged road blockade at the arterial Anna Salai and TTK Salai, affecting traffic movement, police said.
Some protesters burned yellow jerseys, the attire of Chennai Super Kings players.
Naam Tamizhar leader and film personality Seeman, film-maker Bharathirajaa and scores of activists were taken into police custody. In some places, the agitators clashed with police.
Meanwhile, security arrangement was beefed up with 4,000 police personnel guarding the stadium venue. The threat of more protests prompted police to step up security cover for the cricketers. The CSK team suffered a slight delay on its onward trip to the stadium for the match due to the disruption.
Some protesters at Anna Salao raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not establishing the Cauvery Management Board. Tamil Nadu political parties, including DMK and other outfits have been agitating on the issue for the past one week.
Protests were also held at Triplicane, in the vicinity of the stadium, by some outfits, including VCK but police foiled their bid to march towards the venue and detained them. TVK activists, who tried to stage a protest outside the stadium, were also held.
Urging the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board, various political parties and outfits have demanded cancellation of IPL matches in Chennai, saying it was being held at a time when the state was witnessing widespread agitations on the vexed issue.
The Supreme Court, on February 16, raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and compensated Tamil Nadu by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin.
Meanwhile, the court had granted six weeks to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgment on the decades-old Cauvery dispute, modifying the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award of 2007. The six-week period ended on March 29.