Para-military forces including RAF arrive at Delta Districts, CM plays it down
Around 2000 Central para-military forces, including the riot-control Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel, have been rushed to Delta Districts in Tamil Nadu, in what is seen as an apparent effort by the BJP-led Centre to quell the people’s protest against methane extraction project which has been severely opposed by the locals and others.
For the past many years, people in Cauvery Delta Districts in particular and others in general have been protesting hard against the Centre’s proposed methane extraction project as they fear it might rid the people of their livelihood rights besides drying up underground water resources in a big way.
Para-military force personnel have been deployed in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam Districts. In particular, they have been deployed in huge numbers in Tiruvarur and Mannargudi, the hub of the protests. Reports say that as many as 1,000 personnel have been put on duty at Tiruvarur itself. In particular, the forces have been rushed to the State without informing the State Govt. about it.
Presence of para-military personnel has made people tense in these localities. In the meantime, Tamil Nadu chief-minister Edapadi K. Palaniswami has asserted that the para-military forces have been sent to the State only for ‘routine exercises’ and not for any other purpose. “We don’t need to be wary of their presence,” he said amid a situation where tension has gripped these localities.