A member of the environmental organisation Poovulagin Nanbargal, was prevented from entering Ekanapuram, a village near Parandur where farmers have been protesting against the proposed second airport for Chennai city.
Saturday, February 11, marked the 200th day the residents of Ekanapuram have been protesting. The upcoming airport it will affect their livelihood and they are likely to lose their houses and lands, the protestors have said.
M. Vetriselvan, advocate, Poovulagin Nanbargal said he was stopped by police personnel near Sriperumbudur Tollgate around 8.30 a.m. as he was heading towards Ekanapuram.
“I was travelling to Ekanapuram for a public meeting to explain the legal issues regarding the second airport. The police stopped me saying I cannot proceed to the village since I had not taken prior permission and detained me at a police station in Kancheepuram district in preventive custody. This is an undemocratic act and I strongly condemn it,” he said.
Police sources said they had taken Mr. Vetriselvan into preventive custody. They said they had also increased police bandobust to avoid any untoward incidents.
G. Sundarrajan of Poovulagin Nanbargal said, it was atrocious that police prevented Mr. Vetriselvan from speaking at a public meeting and detained him. “Every individual has the right to protest and show solidarity with someone who is protesting for a cause. It is unconstitutional and against democratic principles that the police have stopped Mr. Vetriselvan. We have seen various struggles and protests over the last 15 years but we have never been barred from entering a place,” he added.
The State government had announced last year that the second airport for Chennai would come up at Parandur over 4,791 acres. Many residents of 13 villages near Parandur including Nelvai, Nagapattu, Meleri, Gunagarambakkam, Ekanapuram and Mahadevimangalam are against this project as it will adversely affect them.