Arappor Iyakkam approached the court after the police denied permission to hold a protest called ‘Kelu Chennai Kelu’ on the current water crisis in the city.

Madras HC grants permission to Arappor Iyakkam to hold protest on water crisis
news Court Friday, June 28, 2019 - 16:00

Emphasising the need for people to be aware of the water crisis in Chennai and the right of people to hold a peaceful protest, even if it was against the government, the Madras High Court granted permission to the city-based citizen activist group Arappor Iyakkam to hold protest highlighting the water situation in Chennai. The matter had gone to the court after the Chennai police denied permission to hold the event.

Arappor Iyakkam is organising a public event called 'Kelu Chennai Kelu' (Ask Chennai, Ask) to call attention to the water crisis that is looming large in Chennai. The anti-corruption NGO had approached the Commissioner of Police requesting permission for holding a protest at Valluvar Kottam on Sunday. However, the police refused to grant permission, stating law and order issues and hindrance to peace and tranquillity of the city. The NGO then approached the Madras High Court with a petition seeking permission for the protest.

Speaking to TNM, Jayaram Venkatesan, the Convener of Arappor Iyakkam, said that the government tried to delay the case to the last moment by seeking an adjournment to the case. “We had a hearing on Tuesday and Wednesday. On both these days, the police sought an adjournment and got it. On Friday, the court has granted us permission to hold the protest meeting till 1 pm on Sunday,” he added. He also said that the judge, Justice N Anand Venkatesh, mentioned how awareness is important to bring in solutions for tackling the water crisis.

The protest meeting, he said, will be to highlight the water issue in various parts of Chennai and also to discuss solutions that the government needs to work on and to prevent another such crisis in future. “This event is to create awareness among the people and urge them to take responsibility for the water bodies in their localities. We are not asking them to desilt the lakes by themselves, but urging them to hold the government officials concerned responsible for the inaction,” he said.

Recently, the NGO had launched a campaign to highlight the water crisis in Chennai. The campaign, which involved posting pictures with an empty bucket, came after Tamil Nadu ministers made insensitive comments on water crisis in Chennai.

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