Activist held for protesting against GAIL’s pipeline project

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Activist held for protesting against GAIL’s pipeline project

K.M. Iraniyan is also alleged to have threatened workers engaged by the firm

The organiser of the Tamil Nadu Nilam Neer Padukappu Iyyakkam, K.M. Iraniyan, was arrested by the Sembanarkoil police on Saturday for staging a protest and allegedly intimidating workers engaged by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) for laying a pipeline at Umayalpuram.

Mr. Iraniyan and a few others had objected to the laying of the pipeline across agricultural fields and had staged a protest in the village on Thursday. They were also alleged to have threatened the workers involved in the project.

GAIL is laying the pipeline for carrying gas between the ONGC’s field in Madhanam and Memathur in the district.

Based on a complaint from the firm, Mr. Iraniyan was booked under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 147 (rioting) and 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, police sources said. The activist was picked up on Saturday and taken to the Sembanarkoil police station before being remanded in custody.

Protests in Tiruvarur

Meanwhile, protests against the hydrocarbon exploration project, spearheaded by the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, has gained momentum as committees formed at the village panchayat level in Tiruvarur district have started holding demonstrations in villages.

The decision to form village panchayat-level committees to take forward the protest against the hydrocarbon project was taken at a recent meeting held at Thirukalar village in Kottur union under the chairmanship of the district secretary of the Communist Party of India, V. Sivapunniyam.The first demonstration was held at Thirukalar on May 15, when a group of women staged a ‘dirge singing’ demonstration while a group of farmers staged a demonstration on an agricultural field at Nangamsethi village near Kottur. On Thursday, a group of farmers entered the Vennar riverbed near Koothanallur and raised slogans against the hydrocarbon project, and on Friday, they staged a protest on a cotton field.

A similar demonstration was held on a cotton field at Maruthur village near Kottur on Saturday, with protesters raising slogans demanding the shelving of the project to prevent the Cauvery delta from turning into a desert.

A meeting was convened by the CPI’s farmers’ wing at Rayanallur near Thiruthuraipoondi on Saturday to drum up support for the protest against the hydrocarbon project. After the meeting, the participants staged a demonstration, condemning the implementation of the project despite stiff resistance from farmers and the public.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/activist-held-for-protesting-against-gails-pipeline-project/article27175292.ece

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