PUDUKKOTTAI: Anxious to ensure there is no repeat of pro-jallikattu style of protest against the hydrocarbon extraction project, police on Tuesday stepped up vigil on those approaching Neduvasal.
Even as the protest entered its twelfth day, police erected seven checkposts around Neduvasal and intensified scrutiny of all vehicles and occupants arriving to the village.
The registration numbers of vehicles were recorded and the details of driver were collected. There were allegations that police were restricting entry of youth to Neduvasal, especially students, by turning them away and that they were being advised not to participate in the protest without their parents’ consent. In addition, checkposts have been established at the entrance of Neduvasal and Kottaikadu villages.
Though police claim that the move was aimed at better traffic management, the registration process where mobile numbers of the vehicle owners and other details are collected only point to the underlying anxiety of officials to ensure that protests do not snowball.
The agitation, meanwhile, gained momentum as hundreds from neighbouring villages too joined the protest at Sri Nadiyamman temple thidal (ground), the protest venue. Around 3,000 people raised slogans against the project while another 2,000 people staged an agitation at Nallankollai and Kottaikadu where ONGC has sunk exploratory well.