Chennai a Sea of Black to Protest PM Modi’s Visit; Vaiko Detained
The Prime Minister was in the city to inaugurate the Defence Expo in Mahabalipuram.
As protests across Chennai came to a head over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, the police on Thursday detained several protesters in the city’s Saidapet locality, where they were raising slogans of ‘Go Back Modi’.
MDMK Chief Vaiko was among the several protesters who were detained in the city.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the city to inaugurate the Defence Expo 2018 in Mahabalipuram near Chennai.
On arrival, Modi was greeted by a swarm of protests organised by the opposition parties and fringe groups to demand the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board.
Around 1,650 workers from various parties protested with black flags and balloons outside the Chennai airport as the PM landed in the city.
Protests Gather Steam Across Chennai
In the heightening frenzy of protests, a man named Dharmalingam was rushed to the Erode Government hospital after he attempted self-immolation in protest against PM Modi's arrival in Chennai. He had also written messages condemning the PM’s visit on the walls of his house.
Meanwhile, some protesters climbed atop billboards outside the Chennai airport to raise slogans against the Prime Minister.
DMK working president MK Stalin had earlier asked people to hoist black flags atop their houses during Modi's visit to Tamil Nadu to lodge their protest against the Centre's "inaction" on the Cauvery issue.
Party honcho Karunanidhi was also seen at his residence, sporting a black t-shirt in support of the protests that have fanned across the city.
Members from the opposition parties and fringe groups will also gather at various points in the city while carrying black flags, including IIT Madras and the Cancer Institute, where the PM will be inaugurating other projects.
Police personnel have been deployed in large numbers throughout the city, and several bus routes have been diverted to ease the congestion.
MDMK Leader Vaiko Leads Protest Rally Outside Raj Bhavan
Vaiko, the chief of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, led a rally in Chennai, highlighting his efforts towards over the Cauvery issue.
Meanwhile, members from the party raised black flags and balloons as a sign of protest against the PM’s visit.
Kamal Appeals to Modi for Formation of Cauvery Management Board
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan took to Twitter to lay an open appeal to the Prime Minister regarding the formation of the Cauvery Management Board.
In his video, Hassan highlighted that the people of Tamil Nadu were of the opinion that the upcoming elections in Karnataka was the reason behind the Centre’s delay over the formation of the board. Urging the government to act fast, Hassan requested the government to take cognisance of the protests held in the state.
The actor-turned-politician has also penned a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Irate Protesters Take to Twitter With #GoBackModi
Apart from protesting on the ground, the dissenting voices took Twitter by storm, with the hashtag ‘#GoBackModi’ trending on the micro-blogging site for quite a while on Thursday.
47 Countries to Attend DefExpo
Addressing a press conference, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government aimed to promote India as a major manufacturing destination through the Defence Expo and responses to the four-day event by both foreign and domestic industries have been very impressive.
The NDA government is trying to project the 10th edition of the biennial event as the first serious attempt to transform India into a hub of military manufacturing and pursue its goal of achieving turnover of Rs 1,70,000 crore in military goods and services by 2025 by promoting the domestic defence industry.
According to the Defence Ministry, over 670 defence firms including 154 foreign manufacturers are participating in the exhibition of weapons and military hardware.
It is being attended by official delegations from over 47 countries including the US, the UK, Russia, Afghanistan and Sweden, Finland, Italy, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nepal, Portugal, Seychelles and Vietnam.
Secretary (Defence Production) Ajay Kumar said China was invited but it has not sent any delegation.
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