Mullaperiyar row: Kerala CM writes to Jayalalithaa

Oommen Chandy voiced concern over reports of attacks on Keralites in Tamil Nadu over the Mullaperiyar dam row.

Updated: Dec 18, 2011, 19:28 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister
Oommen Chandy on Sunday voiced concern over reports of attacks on
Keralites in Tamil Nadu over the Mullaperiyar dam row and
requested his counterpart Jayalalithaa "to take firm action to
contain the situation."

In a letter to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, he also
expressed willingness to issue a joint statement with her to
urge for peace, restraint and for ensuring protection to all.

"This is a situation where we have to urgently provide a
sense of protection and confidence to our people. I request
you to take immediate action to control the situation, ensure
safety of our people and take stringent action against those
elements who are involved in such illegal acts," he said.

Chandy said it was unfortunate that the Mullaperiyar issue
should spill over into events affecting peace and harmony
among people of both states.

He said Kerala government has taken all possible steps to
ensure no one from Tamil Nadu is attacked and added that
police presence along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu borders,
especially Kumily and other sensitive areas has been
strengthened.

"However, there is widespread misinformation campaign
which needs to be addressed immediately," he said, adding that
a report on Tamil workers fleeing Kerala and a camp being
opened for them in Theni was one such case.

He pointed out that there are a large number of Tamil
labourers in Kerala, particularly in the plantation sector and
their contribution to Kerala`s economy was valuable.

Chandy rejected reports of women labourers from Tamil Nadu
being molested in Kerala, saying such false misinformation was
meant to inflame passions among people of Tamil Nadu.

"Labourers and women from Tamil Nadu are safe in Kerala
and we shall ensure their protection", he added.

Chandy also said there have been no untoward instances of
attacks on pilgrims from Tamil Nadu visiting Lord Ayyappa
shrine at Sabarimala. "On the other hand, they are happy about
the conduct of Keralites and police who have been extending
all help."

PTI