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. Four people have been arrested from M A Chidambaram stadium 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. 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.
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
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, but were stopped by the police., “We do not want IPL, we want Cauvery Management Board.” T Velumurugan, promoter of the TVK group, was quoted “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.
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. The apex court has been given time till May 3 to come up with a draft scheme.