The day-long bandh called by left parties and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) protesting the steep hike in petrol price did not affect normal life in the city and district. Public transport was unhampered barring the auto-rickshaws run by drivers affiliated to left trade unions.
Shops and business establishments too functioned normally. The police took into custody about 775 Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India (CPI) cadre and 32 BJP men when they attempted to stage a road-roko.
The cadre of both the left parties, led by Kovi Vetriselvan, city secretary of the CPI (M), and K. Suresh, city secretary of the CPI, squatted on the road and blocked traffic near Chathiram bus stand, when the police rounded them up. S. Sridhar, district secretary of the CPI (M), was among the 251 left cadre, including 42 women, arrested here. Earlier M. Selvaraj, former state committee member of the CPI and Mr. Sridhar, condemned the Centre for turning a blind eye to the steep hike in petrol price and demanded a rollback.
The police took into custody 542 CPI (M) and CPI party volunteers, including 124 women, when they picketed at ten centres in other parts of the district.
A total of 94 left party volunteers, led by T. Indirajith, secretary of the district unit of the CPI, were arrested in Manapparai town. The police also took into custody 121 persons in Tiruverambur; 75 in Manachanallur; 56 in Vaiyampatti; 38 in Thuraiyur; 14 in Lalgudi; 51 in Pullambadi; 40 in Musiri; 25 in Tattiengarpettai, and 20 in Uppliapuram.
A group of BJP volunteers, led by P. Parthiban, district secretary of the party, attempted to block the traffic at TVS Tollgate junction. The police arrested 32 party men, including one woman.