Chennai: Toeing the Centre`s line for cordial ties with Sri Lanka, key UPA ally DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Wednesday virtually blamed Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for attacks on Lankan pilgrims, saying her action in sending back a football team from that country had led to the incidents.
"(Jayalalithaa`s) efforts to show that this government is concerned for Sri Lankan Tamils by sending back the football players led to attacks on pilgrims," forcing Colombo to issue an advisory to its citizens against travelling to Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi said.
The DMK patriarch said sports and cultural ties should be kept away from politics.
"It is not acceptable that we Tamils, who are not opposed to any national race, attack people on pilgrimage and cultural exchange but we will continue to oppose Sri Lanka`s action against humanity," he said and appealed for calm in the interest of the `Eelam Tamils.`
He said actions spurred by emotions will result in "unwanted consequences".
"The relations between Tamils of Sri Lanka and those in the state are often described as that of an umbilical cord. In such circumstances, suddenly sending back the Sri Lankan players and attacks on pilgrims will affect bilateral relations," he said in a statement.
Heavy rains claim three lives in Wardha
Nagpur: Incessant heavy rains in Arvi taluka of neighbouring Wardha district today wreaked havoc as three persons, including a woman, were killed and hundreds of houses were damaged, official sources said.
Over 100 livestock were also swept away amid severe downpour.
Three persons - Raju Mahadeo Gedam, Ashok Dashrath Sawai and Chandrabhaga Raut - were washed away in Sarangpuri nullah in Arvi, in the wee hours today, police said.
While one body was recovered, efforts were on to locate the other two.
"All the affected families have been shifted to safer places and district administration was providing them with food, clothes and shelter and was keeping a close watch on situation," Wardha Collector Jaishri Bhoj said.
The victims have been provided shelter in schools and other places and the entire civic and police machinery was pressed into service, she said.
The taluka received a record of 210 mm rainfall during the last 24 hours, she added.
The exact amount of loss to property, cattle and other establishments would be known after a thorough survey, Bhoj added.