With support from various quarters, traders’ shutdown morphs into full fledged bandh

Trading and business came to a standstill in Puducherry on Thursday due to the yet another strike call, this time by the trading community, demanding the Union Government to support U. S-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka.

This is the second bandh observed in Puducherry for the Sri Lankan cause within 10 days and third in the last 6 months for the same issue.

While earlier bandhs had been called by political parties and Tamil outfits, Thursday’s strike was called under the banner of Big Bazaar Street traders.

Though it was originally meant to close down shops and business establishment for 12 hours from 6 a.m., it turned out to be a full fledged bandh due to the unexpected support from various organisations and students, who have been leading the protests for the last few days in Puducherry.

Most of the privately operated buses went off the roads after a few hours of normal service in the morning. Similarly, some sections of auto unions also joined the strike. However, government buses were seen on the roads.

All shops and business establishments in important centres remained closed.

The government and private educational institutions did not function as well as the government had declared holiday due to continued unrest among students over the Sri Lankan issue.

Market deserted

The vegetable market in Rangapillai Street, which supplies vegetables to all parts of the city, was also closed.

The key business streets, including Jawaharlal Nehru Street, Anna Salai, M.G. Road, Bharathi Street and others wore a deserted look till dusk.

Only, government offices functioned as usual.

Token fast

The traders, who participated in the strike, sat on a token fast from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. condemning the Centre for failing to announce its decision to support the U. S- sponsored resolution at UNHRC.

Various forums and associations also came to the streets in Puducherry on Thursday to voice their solidarity for the Sri Lankan Tamils. Lawyers, students, differently abled, nursing students, artists and others staged protests in different parts condemning the attitude of the Central government.