At least four people have been arrested from M A Chidambaram stadium on Tuesday for throwing slippers amid protests by pro-Tamil acitivists demanding a boycott of the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between CSK and KKR in Chennai today. Security has been stepped up near M A Chidambaram stadium, even as protesters called for a boycott of the event over the Centre’s inaction in setting up a Cauvery Management Board. Over 350 people were arrested throughout the day and over 4,000 police personnel including commandos and members of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed to stop the agitators from entering the stadium.
The protesters, raising slogans against the state and central government, temporarily took over the main Anna Salai road near the stadium. Police also resorted to lathicharge to control the activists marching against the match. Veteran director Bhartiraja and Seeman also joined the protest.
Meanwhile, IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla met Union Home Secretary Rajeev Gauba over the security regarding matches in Chennai. Gauba assured him that appropriate arrangements have been made. Follow Chennai IPL protests LIVE UPDATES
Several groups have staged protests over the Cauvery issue last week, including the ruling AIADMK government and Opposition DMK. Members of Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) tried to picket the stadium today, but were stopped by the police. TVK workers protested outside the stadium ahead of the CSK vs KKR match at 8 pm, carry balloons stating, “We do not want IPL, we want Cauvery Management Board.” T Velumurugan, promoter of the group, was quoted by PTI as saying yesterday, “If the match is held despite our plea, we will coordinate with all democratic forces to stop it by organising a massive picketing protest. Many leaders and organisations will participate.” He had appealed to cricketers knowing Tamil to understand their sentiments.
Superstar Rajinikanth had also said that it is embarrassing to hold Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Chennai, while the state is grappling with Cauvery row. He also said the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) players should wear black badges while playing. He also asked his followers to wear the same when the Chennai team plays.
IPL matches are being held in the city after nearly three years. There are seven matches scheduled between April 10 and May 20. Today’s match is against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Parties are demanding the Centre take immediate steps to set up a board to ensure Tamil Nadu receives its allocated share of water from the Cauvery river, which originates in Karnataka. The Centre, which was to formulate a scheme for distribution of water by March 29, was pulled up by the Supreme Court on Monday. The apex court has been given time till May 3 to come up with a draft scheme.