Kumbakonam: As the agitation against the ONGC at Kathiramangalam village near Kumbakonam entered its fourth day on Tuesday, the demand for the ONGC moving out of the village permanently, gained momentum. Shops remained closed in the village. Nearly 90 vans, cars and autorickshaws struck work and carried black flags on the vehicles.
Villagers also demanded release of those arrested from the village and withdrawal of police force.
Heeding to the demand of people, police reduced its strength. There were only 20 police personnel on duty, that too only around ONGC wells at various places in the village on Tuesday.
The issue had its reflection among students in Kumbakonam. Students of the Government Arts college boycotted classes on the above demands. Six students started a sit-in agitation inside college campus. They withdrew the agitation after sub-collector Pradeep Kumar intervened.
Advocates of Kumbakonam boycotted courts. M. Rajasekaran, president, Kumbakonam Bar Association said that the ONGC should permanently move out of Kathiramangalam. “We have decided to take advocates from composite Thanjavur district to the village and stage a demonstration in support of this demand,” Rajasekaran said.
Arrested persons’ bail rejected
Meanwhile, the Thanjavur District Principal Sessions court rejected the bail applications of nine persons arrested in this connection at Kathiramangalam on June 30. The arrested persons including Prof T. Jayaraman, Dharmaraj, Murugan and Viduthalai Sudar filed their bail applications on July 1.
It came up for hearing on Tuesday. A.Nalladurai and M.R.R.Subramanian, advocates who appeared for the arrested persons argued that the cases were foisted on the nine persons and they had nothing to do with the agitation held at Kathiramangalam. A. Kuppusamy, government pleader, said that releasing these persons at this juncture would add to tension.
Judge A.A. Nakkeeran rejected the bail applications. Nalladurai said that the bail applications will be filed again in a few days.