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Mullaperiyar row: Students united against dam

Dec 08, 2011 07:32 AM IST India India
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Idukki: On one side political parties are on a race to cash in on the anti-Mullaperiyar sentiments. On the other side, there are the children who are out on the streets with an appeal to save their lives. Here there is no distinction between a Malayali and a Tamilian.

About 800 students from a government school in Peermedu are undertaking a procession till the protest pandal. Students in class one to eight are raising slogans and demanding complete shutdown of the century-old dam.

One of the protesting students Jennifer said, "Malayalis or Tamil, all of us are living in fear here."

About sixty per cent of the work force in the plantations in Idukki district are Tamils.

Muthu's grandfather migrated here before independence from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. A supervisor in a tea estate in Chapat, he has been coordinating the anti-Mullaperiyar struggle in this panchayat.

Muthu, a plantation worker, said, "We want a new dam. Till then we will continue this agitation. All Malayalis and Tamils are united on this. Nobody can divide us."

The logjam between Tamil Nadu and Kerala has not divided the Tamils and Malayalis here who have been living and working in these plantations for several decades now. They are untied in voicing their concerns. But will their brothers and sisters in both the states come together and find a solution to the ongoing impasse?