Coimbatore: Even as the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has given a call for a bandh from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday demanding speedy completion of the Salem Railway Division formation and inclusion of Coimbatore and Tirupur in the new division, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has also given a call for bandh on the same day.
The General Secretary of the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK), K. Ramakrishnan, announced the decision for a bandh on Sunday at a meeting convened by the Salem Railway Division Protection Struggle Committee. With political parties cutting across affiliations supporting the bandh, it is expected to be near total in the city.
The district secretary of the DMK, Pongalur N Palanisamy, has called for whole-hearted co-operation for making the bandh a total success to reflect the sentiments of the people in this region. He also condemned the Kerala Chief Minister, V.S. Achuthanandan, accusing him of trying to provoke the people of Kerala against the bifurcation of the Palakkad Railway Division, besides instigating the Members of Parliament from Kerala to ensure that Coimbatore was retained with Palakkad division.
Mr. Palanisamy appealed to the residents to take part in the bandh by keeping buses and autorickshaws off the road besides downing shutters of shops, commercial establishments, hotels, industries and offices. Autorickshaw unions and Tourist, Taxi, Tempo Van Owners Association have also extended support to the bandh call.
The organisers of the bandh have assured that there would be no disruption to essential services.
Though the bandh organisers have left it to the educational institutions on their functioning on Tuesday, a number of schools and colleges have declared holiday. The District Collector, Neeraj Mittal, said that all efforts had been taken to maintain law and order and to prevent incidents of violence by miscreants and anti-social elements.
The Chief Educational Officer, Coimbatore, has announced that the counselling for inter-district transfer of teachers scheduled at the CSI Boys High School in Coimbatore School on Tuesday would be held at the Jaivabhai Municipal High School in Tirupur at 10 a.m.
The counselling for inter-district transfer of block-level teacher trainers would be held at 2 p.m. at the same venue.
The Commissioner of Police, Coimbatore city, C.K. Gandhi Rajan, said that vigil would be stepped up across the city to prevent untoward incidents by those trying to capitalise on the bandh. More than 1,000 policemen led by four Deputy Commissioners of Police, 18 Assistant Commissioners of Police and 40-Inspectors would patrol the city.
The State Observer of the Bharatiya Janata Party, S.R. Seghar, in a statement accused the organisers of the bandh of trying to divert the attention of the people from their failure to overcome the resistance from the Kerala politicians who were exerting pressure to retain Coimbatore with the Palakkad division.
Those who should expedite the railway division formation work are the same people who are calling for the bandh.