Vanniar Sangam calls for a bandh on Friday

Vehicle movement in different parts of Puducherry and suburban areas came to a halt on Wednesday following protests of Pattali Makkal Katchi cadres demanding release of their leader S. Ramadoss, who was arrested by the Tamil Nadu police.

Angry agitators, carrying flags and other objects, blocked road traffic at Thavalaikuppam on Puducherry-Cuddalore Main Road. They also created hurdles with branches of trees, boulders and others.

They forced the shop keepers to close their shops. The protesters also pelted stones on buses and vans. The windscreens of four buses and two vans were smashed in the incident. The protest was withdrawn after about two hours.

Similarly, scores of protesters staged road rokos at different places along Puducherry to Villupuram. Protests were reported at Villianur, Madagadipet, Ariyur, Thirubuvanai and others.

The residents of Thiruvandarkoil also participated in a road roko. They withdrew it following negotiation by the police and revenue authorities.

The spate of protests forced the authorities to reduce the bus services to the rural areas. The bus services between Puducherry and Villupuram were cancelled for most part of the day.

Only a few services were operated from Puducherry to Chennai and Puducherry to Cuddalore, causing agony to the passengers.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police, I.D. Shukla said that security had been beefed up in Puducherry and rural areas.

They were asked to closely watch the situation.

The bus services had been restricted along a few routes as a precautionary step.

Meanwhile, the Puducherry unit of Vanniar Sangam has called for a bandh in Puducherry on Friday demanding the release of PMK founder Mr. Ramadoss.