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Anti-Lanka protests: Over 500 students arrested in Chennai

Last updated on: March 18, 2013 16:35 IST

Over 500 college students were arrested in Chennai for attempting to picket the Raj Bhawan even as they continued their protests over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue for the eighth day on Monday.

A large number of students joined the protests despite government directing closure of educational institutions.

Protests ranged from fast to agitation to boycott of classes in various parts of the state including Coimbatore, Salem and Tirunelveli, with students pressing for various demands, including an independent probe against Colombo for alleged human rights violations and moving the International Court of Justice.

Chennai-based Loyola College students had first embarked on a fast-unto-death last week on this vexed issue, with more and more students taking to various forms of protests.

Tamil Nadu is on the boil after pictures by a private channel showed the alleged cold-blooded killing of slain Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam chief V Prabakaran's 12-year-old son Balachandran.

Meanwhile, around 200 students were arrested when they tried to proceed towards the airport to stage a protest. They were detained outside the airport and arrested, police said.

With engineering students also joining the protests, the government declared holiday for them till further orders.

Government sources said Anna University and its constituent colleges have been closed while private and self-financing institutions asked to take decisions based on the prevailing situation in their respective campuses.

Last week, the government had asked Arts and Sciences colleges to close down following the swelling number of college students taking to protest over the Lankan Tamils issue.

Meanwhile, a Coimbatore report said the managements of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and engineering colleges had ordered closure. Over 400 TNAU students came out in support of other students, including those fasting over the issue and started observing a dharna in the campus, the management declared holiday for 15 days and asked the students to vacate the hostel, official sources said.

Engineering colleges in the region also declared holiday for a week. In Udhagamanalam, 38 students of the Government Arts College were arrested while trying to picket in the city, police said.

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