Dam row: Tension mounts on borders, security beefe

Tension over the Mullaperiyar dam issue mounted in the border town of Kumili and adjoining areas as marchers from Tamil Nadu side threatened to cross into the state, prompting police to further tighten security.

Kumili: Tension over the Mullaperiyar dam issue mounted in the border town of Kumili
and adjoining areas on Sunday as marchers from Tamil Nadu side
threatened to cross into the state, prompting police to
further tighten security.

Road to Theni area in Tamil Nadu remained closed and a
large police contingent, including Rapid Action Force
personnel, had been deployed to prevent the marchers from
crossing over and brewing trouble.

On Tamil Nadu side, police blocked roads to check
marchers from pushing to Kerala. Senior police officials from
both sides were in constant touch with each other to keep the
situation tightly under control.
Inspector General of Police R Sreelekha, who was here to
review the situation, said additonal forces were deployed in
the area on Saturday.

Vigil also heightened in alternate routes, by-lanes and
forest trekking paths as well in view of the possibility of
protesters filtering in through them, police sources said.

Kumali town, which has an array of curio and spices shops
normally busy with tourists coming to the close by lake-side
resort Thekkady on the banks of the river Periyar, wore a
deserted look. Police asked shops to down shutters and put up
metal barricades across the road and sealed the border check
post, halting to and for traffic totally.
Police said so far no untoward incident had been reported
from any part of the area, where prohibitory orders have been
in force since early last week.

Opposition leader and CPI(M) stalwart V S Achuthanandan
wanted all national parties to formulate their stand on the
dam issue by taking into account the spirit of the unanimous
resolution passed by Kerala Assembly last week, which called
for a new dam and lowering the water level in the existing
reservoir to 120 feet.

Talking to reporters in Palakkad, Achuthanandan said he
would join Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to meet Prime Minister
Manmohan Sing to press for the state`s demand.

PTI

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