Vaiko continues stir on Highway in MP
By Shyam Balasubramanian / ENS - CHENNAI
21st September 2012 08:22 AM
MDMK leader Vaiko and around 800 of his supporters continued to stage a sit-in protest on the side of National Highway 69 in the Chhindwara District of Madhya Pradesh on Thursday.
The protest began on Wednesday evening after Madhya Pradesh police prevented Vaiko’s convoy from proceeding towards Sanchi, where he planned to hold a black flag demonstration against the visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Repeated attempts by the MP administration to convince Vaiko and his supporters to return to Tamil Nadu have failed. On Thursday, Vaiko refused to speak to Chhindwara District Collector Mahesh Chandra Choudhary, who approached the MDMK chief with senior police officials. With Rajapaksa set to visit Sanchi for the foundation stone laying ceremony for the Buddhist university in Sanchi on Friday, it seems unlikely that Vaiko will be able to hold his intended demonstration. Vaiko has announced that he would hold a press conference at 11 am at Pandhurna, the place where his convoy was stopped.
Vaiko delivered a few speeches to his supporters in which he appealed to MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to allow him to demonstrate at Sanchi against Rajapaksa, who Tamil nationalists charge with genocide for the high Tamil casualties in Sri Lanka’s civil war. “You are giving a red carpet welcome to a war criminal responsible for the killing of over 1.5 lakh Tamils in Sri Lanka. But, you are refusing to let me, an Indian citizen, hold a peaceful protest on Indian soil,” Vaiko said in his speech.
Sources in Madhya Pradesh told Express that after Vaiko refused to speak to Chouhan over the phone on Wednesday, attempts were going to be made to send a minister to reach out to the MDMK leader.
Meanwhile, MDMK functionaries said their cadre who reached Bhopal by train are being whisked away by the police and being held at a hall in the city.
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