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Shops owned by Keralites attacked in Tamil Nadu

The political tussle between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the Mullaperiyar Dam has shifted to the streets of Chennai, Coimbatore and Thanjavur with fringe Tamil groups attacking shops owned by Keralites and forcing them to down shutters Wednesday

Retaliating to the attacks on Tamils in Kerala, a Tamil fringe group attacked a sweets shop owned by a Keralite in Chennai's Saidapet area, while a jewellery shop in T.Nagar area was forced to down its shutters as a group of protestors staged demonstration outside it.

Similarly, shops owned by Keralites in Coimbatore and Thanjavur were forced to close down by protestors.

Demonstrations were also held outside the jewellery shops owned by Keralites in the state.

A large police force has been deployed for security outside big shops owned by Keralites here.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa held a meeting with her cabinet colleagues and officials to discuss the tense situation in the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border areas.

Leader of Opposition in the assembly A.Vijayakant condemned the attack on Ayyappa devotees and bus passengers from Tamil Nadu by anti-social elements in Kerala.

In a statement issued here Wednesday, he said: "The central and the Kerala governments are watching the attacks on innocent Tamils in Kerala. Both the governments have to take strong action against the anti-social elements."

".... the weakness is in the Kerala politicians and not in the Mullaperiyar Dam," he said.

On the other hand, PMK founder-leader S.Ramadoss in a statement here demanded economic blockade of Kerala by closing the routes to that state for a week and imposing a ban on Keralites buying properties in Tamil Nadu.

On its part, the DMK has called a meeting of its executive committee Dec 9 to discuss the party's stand on Mullaperiyar Dam issue. The meeting will be chaired by DMK president M.Karunanidhi.

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