Police personnel posted across the city ensure that there was no untoward incident; bus services not affected
The day-long bandh call given by the Communists and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in protest against the petrol price rise went off peacefully without any untoward incidents, but for some road blockade demonstrations, in the city and its peripheries on Thursday.
A large posse of police personnel at vantage locations ensured that there was no untoward incident. All those who staged demonstrations were picked up and released in the evening, a police officer said. Police said that many commercial establishments such as restaurants and shopping outlets were open, buses plied as usual, government offices functioned without any interruptions and traffic was normal.
Around 1,000 cadres of the left parties, Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist), and the BJP staged demonstrations at 10 locations in the city. At around 9.30 a.m., Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand wore a deserted look. However, as the day progressed, people started pouring in. While the city and mofussil buses plied as usual, the members affiliated to left party unions said that the bandh was total. A Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) official said that buses were operated as usual. According to a CPI (M) press release, its cadres staged road roko at Goripalayam (led by its MLA R. Annadurai), and near the following places: Tamukkum Ground , Head Post Office, Karimedu Telephone Exchange (led by its former district secretary R. Jothiram), at Chockalinga Nagar, Madura College, South Veli Street-Mahalipatti stretch, Munichalai junction (led by its urban district secretary B. Vickraman) and near Guru Theatre (led by Centre of Trade Union's transport wing secretary V. Pitchai).
The BJP staged the protest near the Mattuthavani bus stand. The agitators, in a symbolic show of protest against the steep rise in petrol price, came to Goripalayam wearing roller skates, implying that people can wear one and move around the city since it does not require petrol, driving licence or registration certificate.
It was business as usual at railway junction, airport and bus stands in the city. But for a very few that kept off the road, a majority of autorickshaws and share autorickshaws plied as usual. Police pickets were posted at Government Rajaji Hospital, Collector's office and other Central government offices where the staff attendance was normal like any other day. By evening, all the establishments which had downed shutters earlier in the day, opened their shops for business.