Fearing Cauvery protests, Chepauk stadium becomes a fortress

Last Updated: Mon, Apr 09, 2018 23:23 hrs
MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming during a practice session at Chepauk

Chennai: Fearing protests by Tamil groups over the Cauvery water sharing row, authorities have enforced unprecedented security arrangements for the Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Tuesday.

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has banned spectators from bringing mobile phones, remote control car-key or any electronic devices, bags, briefcases, pagers, radios, digital diaries, laptops, computers, tape-recorders and even binoculars.

The banned list also includes musical instrument, video cameras, digital cameras, crackers, inflammable materials, firearms and ammunition, edibles, thermos flasks, water jugs, bottles, cigarettes, beedis, match boxes, lighters, razors, scissors, mirrors and glass, knifes and batteries.

The use of mobile phones, transistors, computers, cameras or any other audio visual recording equipment for recording and for communication the match details, statistics and images has also been prohibited.

Some political parties have called for axing the match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium -- popularly known as Chepauk Stadium -- to protest the Centre's failure to set up a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC).

According to police, more than 2,000 police personnel would be deployed at the stadium and, as a precaution, people wearing black colour dress will not be allowed entry.

Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said necessary security will be provided to the IPL organisers.

He said it was for the organisers to decide whether to cancel the match or not and it was for the people to decide whether to boycott the match or not.

Meanwhile, a group in the Tamil movie industry, led by Director Bharathirajaa, R.K. Selvamani and V. Sekar, floated an association called Tamil Panpaattu Peravai on Monday here.

They told reporters that holing an IPL match when the state was fighting for Cauvery river water was an attempt to divide the youth.

Bharathirajaa said they will hold a protest against the match.

Earlier, DMK leader M.K. Stalin said the organisers of the IPL matches should understand the people's problems. But he said the DMK was not against holding the IPL matches.

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) chief Thol Thirumavalavan had also sought a ban on IPL matches in Tamil Nadu.

Spectators have also been told not to dishonour the Indian flag. No food or drink from outside will also be permitted.