Villagers at Ponnandampalayam in Coimbatore begin hunger strike | Coimbatore News

COIMBATORE: Villagers in Ponnandampalayam, who erected black flags in front of their homes on January 1, began a hunger strike on Wednesday, stating that they would not eat until their village was brought under one panchayat—preferably Kaniyur.
The Karumathampatti police arrested close to 100 protesters but they could not manage to make them give up their hunger strike. A small group of villagers have accompanied the tehsildar to meet the collector.
Around 100 people, including 60 women, began their hunger strike at 11 am demanding that their entire village, of around 400 houses, be brought under one panchayat.
The village currently comes under four panchayats—the eastern side under Kaniyur, southern side under Arasur, western side under Naranapuram and Northern parts fall under Moppiripalayam town panchayat. They say that access to basic schemes like a fully stocked ration shops, roads, drinking water and is unequal within the village, because each panchayat has different priorities and facilities. “Issues like education loan access, passport verification and registration of pregnant women under the PICME scheme and access to vaccination for them is what is most affected,” says P Sivakumar, ward councillor in Kaniyur panchayat.
A group of villagers met the district collector in December and submitted a petition detailing their multiple woes because the village comes under four different panchayats and requested him to place the entire village under Kaniyur panchayat. When this yielded no response, the residents erected black flags in front of their homes on January 1 and announced that they planned a hunger strike if their demand was not met. They announced that they would only drink water.

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