A section of students in Tamil Nadu, agitating against alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, said they would protest against conducting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches here, even if players of that country were not part of teams. The protests by students began in the first half of March, following the circulation of photographs of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader V Prabhakaran's 12-year-old son, Balachandran, supposed to have been taken hours before and after his death. Students have started massive protests across the state, following the arrest of eight students of Loyola College, who had started an indefinite fast on March 11.
Even students from premier institutes, such as the Indian Institute of Technology, have joined the agitation by taking out protest marches, blocking roads and railway lines, and going on hunger strike. The state government has decided to shut 525 engineering colleges affiliated to Anna University, and 438 arts and science colleges indefinitely to avoid any untoward incidents. Bowing to the demand of the agitating students, the Tamil Nadu government has decided not to allow IPL matches involving Lankan players. In a letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said the recent agitations in the state during the debate on the US-sponsored UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution on Sri Lanka have revealed the great angst and anguish among the people of Tamil Nadu with regard to this highly emotive issue.