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Massive anti-IPL protests in Chennai during CSK, KKR match; protesters hurl shoes on ground

FPJ Bureau | Updated on: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 10:51 PM IST

Chennai: Tamil outfit members staged a protest at out side of Chepauk stadium, against the Centre’s failure to constitute a Cauvery management board, they were demanding cancel an IPL cricket match which played between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai on Tuesday. PTI Photo (PTI4_10_2018_000214B) |
Chennai: Tamil outfit members staged a protest at out side of Chepauk stadium, against the Centre’s failure to constitute a Cauvery management board, they were demanding cancel an IPL cricket match which played between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai on Tuesday. PTI Photo (PTI4_10_2018_000214B) |
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Chennai: The IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders went off as planned at Chepauk here despite flash protests over Cauvery disrupting traffic for over three hours near the venue.  Around 3,000 people had gathered outside the stadium.

Amid high drama, at 8.35 pm, the match, which had begun at 8 pm, was held up for a couple of minutes when a protestor who had entered the stadium with a valid ticket hurled a shoe that landed on the playfield. Immediately police moved towards the trouble spot and arrested two persons, including the one who hurled the footwear, and bundled them out of the stadium and into a waiting police van.

There were also stray cases outside the stadium of CSK fans being beaten up and forced to remove their yellow jerseys, which they had worn to welcome the home team back after a two-year ban. The players of both teams had arrived with heavy police escort just two hours before the match. Many fans, who had removed their yellow jerseys for fear of being attacked, were seen wearing them once inside the stadium.

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Also Read: Cauvery row: Anti-IPL stir escalates ahead of match in Chennai, protesters detained

As many as 4,000 police personnel were roped in to guard the stadium and provide protection to the players after fringe Tamil groups, which are incensed over the Central Government’s failure to constitute the Cauvery Management Board, called for a boycott of the match. Some like Tamizhaga Vaazhurimai Katchi (TVK) leader Velmurugan had even issued veiled threats. The leaders of the protesting outfits argued that the IPL would be a distraction for the youth who have been galvanised to protest over the Cauvery issue.

The State Government, in fact, hinted that it was not keen on the match being played. But finally the decision was left to the cricket authorities. Amidst all this, in the morning, TVK cadres attempted to lock one of the gates of the stadium and fly black balloons but they were thwarted. In the afternoon a group of activists of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi took out a rally close to the stadium demanding that the match be called off. A protest by leading film directors Bharathiraaja and Vetrimaran, on Chennai’s busiest road, about a kilometre away from the stadium, threw traffic out of gear for at least a couple of hours.

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Several hundreds of protestors blocked the road and even broke through a police cordon in an attempt to march towards the stadium. A strong posse of policemen, who had barricaded another intersection a few metres away, stopped them and resorted to a mild lathi-charge. Director Bharathiraaja claimed that his intention was to stage a peaceful protest to record opposition to the match. “We are not against cricket and IPL. We want to draw attention to the Cauvery issue. But in a bid to disrupt our peaceful protest some elements have intruded here,” he claimed. The police detained the directors and chased away the protestors.

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Published on: Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 06:56 AM IST