20 buses stoned; shops, establishments and educational institutions remained closed

The dawn-to-dusk bandh call given by the “Thevar Samudhaya Kootamaippu” comprising various outfits was total as normal life was hit on Wednesday.

Educational institutions had been closed in the city and peripheries, while shops and establishments, including hotels and restaurants had downed shutters from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The busy Vilakuthoon stretch and the Bullion Bazaar market wore a deserted look despite Deepavali season, vendors and shopkeepers said.

Though the TNSTC (Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation) operated buses in a skeleton size, the vehicles had very little patronage in the early hours of the day.

At around 10 a.m., the police requested the TNSTC authorities to withdraw its services following reports of stoning in suburban locations.

The two private shopping malls too had kept their operations closed during the day, but opened later in the evening.

The Thevar outfits had called for the bandh to protest the killings of their men, when they were returning after paying homage to the Muthuramalinga Thevar Samadhi in Pasumpon on October 30. The vehicle which was attacked with petrol bombs near Puliankulam here was completely destroyed while over 15 passengers inside the vehicle suffered burns. So far, six had succumbed to injuries, for whom the government had released a compensation of Rs five lakh each.

The bandh call was to draw the attention of the State government to arrest the culprits behind the crime. The victims’ families should be suitably provided monetary relied and jobs in government were a few other demands.

According to TNSTC sources, at least 20 buses belonging to Madurai depots were stoned in Kariapatti (Ayyappan Koil), P and T Nagar, Kalmedu, Udankaatupatti, Nagamalai Pudukottai (Flour mill), Mudakuchalai, Dinamani Nagar (Alanganallur) and in Sivakasi (Palani Theatre) since Tuesday night. In the city, the police said, seven buses were stoned while on one bus, a bottle filled with petrol was hurled on TPK Road near Madura College. No one was hurt. Cases had been registered, police added.

The members affiliated to Thevar Desiya Peravai led by its state president Thirumaran resorted to a picketing near Kattabomman statue in Periyar bus stand.

A large posse of police, led by Assistant Commissioner of Police A. Ganesan picked 150 of them. They shouted slogans demanding the arrest of the culprits responsible for the killing of youths from Puliankulam and also condemned various political parties for remaining silent in this issue.

Many government offices including the District Collector’s office wore a deserted look as public turnout was poor. The presence of staff was also negligible since there was no public transport, according to an official.

The Thevar Samudhaya Kootamaippu representatives thanked the traders and other community members for cooperating with them in this issue.

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