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Protests continued in Kathiramangalam village in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu today against the ONGC's oil exploration project, with people observing fast demanding the release of those arrested in connection with the violence on June 30. About 150 residents of the village including women sat on a fast infront of the Ayyanar temple last evening. Government officials rushed to the spot and held talks with protesters to persuade them to call off the fast. However, the agitators refused to budge and sought the release of 10 persons arrested on June 30. The villagers have been up in arms against crude oil exploration by ONGC and a protest by them had turned violent on June 30, leading to use of "minimum force" by police, which was criticised by opposition parties in the state. Also, shops remained shut for several days in the village to express solidarity with the protesting residents.