Thirumavalavan courts arrest with thousands of cadres, asks India to stop proxy war

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 October 2008, 12:05 GMT]
In a powerful state-wide railway blockade of a scale that has not been witnessed in recent years in Tamil Nadu, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) President Thol. Thirumavalavan courted arrest Thursday morning with thousands of his cadres urging the Indian Government to stop the genocidal war against the Tamils within the next twenty-four hours. He said that the ongoing war in the island was "clearly a proxy war being waged by the Indian Government through the Sinhalese forces" and he urged upon New Delhi to put an end to it at the earliest.

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The VCK leader said that Tamil emotions could run riot if the Union Government failed to understand, respect and recognize the ambitions of the Tamil people.

Thirumavalavan warned New Delhi that in case the war was not stopped by October 28, the deadline set up the State Government during the all-party meeting, his party would be forced to intensify its agitation. He also told media persons that all cadres of the VCK were willing to face all consequences of their activities in order to stop the war that was taking lives of innocent Tamil civilians.

In the capital city of Tamil Nadu alone, the VCK cadres blocked trains in three different railway stations: Chennai Central, Basin Bridge Junction and Chennai-Arakkonam station. The VCK President blocked trains at the Basin Bridge Junction and was arrested with one thousand cadres.

The protests saw incidents of violence and police action, but the party cadre were undeterred as they courted arrested in hundreds in all major cities in the state of Tamil Nadu including Madurai, Tiruchi, Salem, Virudhachalam, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Erode, Karaikudi, Thirunelveli and Thanjavur. Television footages from India showed visibly charged young cadres and members of the VCK lying on railway tracks and climbing on all trains.

In Madurai Railway Station, the Rameswaram Express was set on fire by unidentified elements during the VCK protest. An entire carriage has been charred and fire-fighters were hard at work to douse the fire. In Virudhachalam, police resorted to lathi charge unable to control the enthusiastic cadre and party members.

VCK Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Ravikumar courted arrest at Cuddalore. Joint-General Secretary Chola Nambiar, Ideological Wing Secretary Gautam Sannah, Headquarters Secretaries Vanniarasu and Paavalan, Spokesperson Aarvalan and District Secretaries Kabilan, Ilanchezian, Veeramuthu, Vanachezian and Selvam courted arrest in Chennai. Other prominent activists who courted arrest were Tamil Nationalist Movement leader Thiyagu and film-actor Mansoor Ali Khan.

Railway traffic was affected and delayed by several hours in various parts of the state.

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