The CPI(M) launched a one-week march protesting the Chennai-Salem 8 lane expressway project on Wednesday 1 August. The march began with a public meeting in which thousands took part at the Anna statue in Thiruvannamalai district. The march will end at Salem district and will cover the regions which will be affected by the project.

The land of hundreds of farmers is under threat due to the proposal which will also cause environmental damage. There has been widespread opposition to the project from all parts of the State, especially from farmers.

The police arrested the nearly 500 participants of the march shortly after the meeting. Among those arrested were State Secretary Comrade K. Balakrishnan, Politburo member Comrade G. Ramakrishnan, Central Committee member Comrade U. Vasuki and State Secretariat members Comrades P. Shanmugam, A. Lazar, P. Selvasing and K.Kanagaraj. The police also hassled the media persons who were covering the protest.

At the meeting, Comrade K. Balakrishnan declared that the protest would continue even in the face of State repression.