About 200 employees of the Tamil Nadu Rural Development Officers Association (TNRDOA) on Monday courted arrest in Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga when they staged picketing agitations, pressing a charter of demands including early elections to local bodies.
Police arrested 56 employees, including TNRDOA district secretary K Somasundar, when they blocked the road in front of the Collectorate in Ramanathapuram,.
The employees, on strike since July 3, were pressing more than 20 demands.
Officials said works relating to drinking water supply, maintenance of street lights and employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme were affected in view of the strike. As most of the Panchayat secretaries did not join the strike, sanitation and other routine works remained unaffected, they said.
The striking employees said in the absence of elected representatives in rural and urban local bodies, their workload had increased manifold and demanded elections to the local bodies at the earliest.
In Sivaganga, police arrested about 140 employees, including TNRDOA State president Subramanian, vice-president Karuppasamy and district president Prabakaran when they blocked the road in front of the Collectorate. All arrested persons were released later.
In Virudhunagar, 155 members of the Virudhunagar district unit of the association were arrested when they tried to stage a dharna in front of the Collectorate. The protest was led by its district president Pugalenthi. The arrested members were later let off.
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