Attempt of DYFI volunteers to carry effigy of PM in a symbolic coffin from Chathiram Bus Stand thwarted

Over 200 BJP cadre were arrested throughout the district for attempting to picket buses and trains to protest the Centre’s decision to raise diesel price, restrict the number of domestic LPG cylinders and permit foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

About 70 party men were arrested when they proceeded to squat on the railway track at Tiruchi junction.

Hundreds of police personnel led by City Police Commissioner Shailesh Kumar Yadav stationed themselves at the junction to ensure normalcy. All the arrested were let off later in the day. Led by the party’s urban unit secretary Parthiban, the protestors included BJP national committee members Lalitha Kumaramangalam and M.Subramanian.

Elsewhere in Tiruchi, 153 BJP members, including 37 women, were arrested when they attempted to picket buses at Musiri, Thuraiyur, Manapparai and Mannachanallur. A group of party members attempted to picket train at Lalgudi railway station.

All party protest

Several other parties protested near Anna Statue in the city to observe the Bharath Bandh. Hundreds of cadre of the CPI and the CPI (M) led by senior district unit functionaries staged demonstrations demanding immediate rollback of diesel price, lifting restriction on the number of domestic LPG cylinders per household, and withdrawal of foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

Separate protests were also conducted by other parties, including the DMDK, MDMK, and the PMK.

The police thwarted the attempt by volunteers of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) to carry an effigy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a symbolic coffin from the Chathiram Bus Stand to the protest venue. Four students of Government Law College were arrested when they set fire to the effigy of the Prime Minister.

Over 800 persons belonging to various other parties also staged demonstrations in different parts of the district, police sources said.

Visible impact

Most of the shops and commercial establishments downed shutters, and lorries kept off roads. The usually busy Gandhi Market, NSB Road, Big Bazaar Street, and other commercial centres appeared empty.

In Tiruchi district, the announcement of shop closure was made by Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangankalin Peramaippu in deference to the call given by Confederation of All India Traders.

State secretary of the Peramaippu V.Govindarajulu in a communication thanked the trading community for its overwhelming support.

Closure of about 60,000 establishments within the city limits, and 50,000 in rural parts comprising jewellery and textile showrooms, grocery shops, vegetable outlets, hotels, bakeries, tea stalls and other retail outlets amounted to Rs.50 crore business loss, Mr. Govindarajulu said.