State police detained 70 yr old old widow women unnamalai who refused to give her 9 acres land.
The police also detained farmers and villagers who are spearheading the agitation against the Chennai-Salem r Expressway.
The 277 kms proposed 8 lane express road has a captive budget of 10000 crores that been rigged through 7500 acres of agricultural land., 500 acres of forest land and drilling through 5 natural mountains and seven rivers.
With memories from anti-Sterlite protests still afresh, the Tamil Nadu Government seems to be leaving no stone unturned in quelling the protests against the proposed Chennai-Salem Green Express Highway.
Besides detaining farmers and villagers who spearheaded the agitation in their respective areas, the Salem Police have arrested actor Mansoor Ali Khan and environmentalist Piyush Manush for “misleading the villagers” over the project.
While Khan was arrested for making provocative statements against the project, Manush was taken into custody for being vocal in his opposition to the project and expansion of Salem Airport. On Tuesday, another student activist, Valarmathi, and over 20 villagers were taken into custody.
Activists allege that the government wants to ensure that the protests do not gain momentum like the one in Thoothukudi and want to nip it in the bud.
Drawing a parallel with the anti-Sterlite protests that grew in strength over weeks, activists said the administration does want another agitation of Sterlite’s magnitude.
However, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said the arrests have been made to ensure that people are not misled. “Law will take its own course. We can’t sit idle when people continue to make provocative statements,” he said.
Narayanan, whose land the government wants to acquire for the project, said that the police landed on his doorstep at 4 am on June 9 when he was attending to the cows.
“I refused to leave my place without tending to the cattle. They said they just wanted to ask me a few questions, but took me to Salem and placed me under detention just to intimidate us,” Narayanan said.
Before his arrest, Manush told media that the police interference was “too much” and that farmers are being threatened to give away their land.
“The project would be a game changer in enhancing the economic growth of central districts of Tamil Nadu,” said M Ponnuswami, chairman of CII-TN, adding that it would reduce transportation cost, particularly for the manufacturing industries.
Making a statement in the Assembly last week, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami asserted that the project would boost economic growth and its gains far outweighed other factors.
But in social media bloggers questioned why Sethu samuthram project that gives much employment and save 400+ nautical miles and reduce 30 hrs for travel time for vessels that fetches much revenue to the state been kept in shelves.
Opposition parties in tamilnadu sense foul and allege massive corruption for the proposed 10000 crores 8 lane Express lane for 277 Kms.