City police lists out spots for organising protests
The police today released a list of 27 notified places in the city and its suburbs where protests in various forms can be held. The move comes in the wake of a court case filed by farmer-activist P Ayyakannu seeking permission to hold a pro-Cauvery protest at the Marina beach here, which is out of bounds for any type of agitation. In the list, the City Police identified a total of 27 locations in the city and its suburbs, saying protests such as rally, hunger strike and agitations can be conducted there. Further, with a key location at Saidapet near the Raj Bhavan, official residence of the Tamil Nadu Governor, turning out to be a favoured spot of late for protesters, police recalled that agitations of any kind have been banned there since 2012 keeping in mind the interests of the locals. Police urged those wanting to stage protests to avoid this spot near Panagal Maligai and warned of arresting those violating the order, besides confiscating property including vehicles in such cases.
Ayyakannu, a well-known farmer leader, had moved the Madras High Court for permission to stage a 90-day fast at the Marina Beach here to press for expeditious setting up of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) to implement a Supreme Court judgement on the river water distribution among the riparian states. The Chennai police has opposed the plea fearing that anti-social elements may exploit the agitation and create law and order problems.They had also pointed out to the court that Marina beach was not in the list of places designated for staging demonstrations. Incidentally, a week-long pro-Jallikattu (bull taming sport) protest was held at the Marina last year with scores of people supporting it, even as the agitation ended on a violent note when a section of protesters clashed with the police. Since then, Chennai Police have strictly kept Marina beach out of bounds for any kind of protests and had detained a couple of persons recently when they staged a protest seeking setting up of Cauvery Management Board .