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Traders bandh evokes lukewarm response

Special Correspondent
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A DETERMINED BID:MDMK party workers staging a rail roko at Tiruchi Railway Jjunction on Tuesday in support of their demand that India should boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting beind held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.— PHOTO: M. MOORTHY
A DETERMINED BID:MDMK party workers staging a rail roko at Tiruchi Railway Jjunction on Tuesday in support of their demand that India should boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting beind held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.— PHOTO: M. MOORTHY

Normal life remained unaffected as the bandh called by pro-Eelam outfits demanding that India boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet in Sri Lanka evoked a lukewarm response in Tiruchi district on Tuesday.

A majority of the shops and commercial establishments remained open in Tiruchi city and other parts of the district. Some traders owing allegiance to the Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangakalin Peravai, which had announced its members would down shutters, participated in the bandh. However, members of the Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangankalin Peramaippu did not participate in the bandh. Essential services and public transport functioned as usual.

About 293 members of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Social Democratic Party of India, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, Tamizhaga Vazhuvurimai Katchi, Tamil Desa Poduvudamai Katchi and other organisations were taken into custody when they attempted to resort to rail blockades in Tiruchi and Srirangam to press the demand.

Police arrested most of the protestors assembled in front of the Railway Junction but a group of MDMK cadres and other friendly organisations managed to sneak into the junction and attempted to block trains. However, they too were arrested before they could resort to the blockade. Group of protestors who attempted to resort to rail blockades in Srirangam and Manapparai were also taken into custody.

Thanjavur: The police arrested about 300 members of various political parties and organisations in Thanjavur district when they tried to stop trains demanding that India should not take part in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanka. At Thanjavur, the cadres of MDMK, led by Durai Balakrishnan, State deputy general secretary, and G. Udhayakumar, district secretary, were arrested by the police near the railway station.

Cadre of Thamizhar Vaazhvurimai Katchi and Thamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Katchi and advocates of Thanjavur were arrested at the railway station.

Arrests were made in Kumbakonam also. Cadre of India Jananayaka Katchi (IJK) and Thamizh Desa Poduvudamai Katchi were arrested when they tried to picket head post office at Thanjavur.

Some shops remained closed in old bus stand, Keelavasal, and Gandhiji Road in the town.

In Tiruvarur, 131 persons belonging to Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Tamil Nadu Makkal Katchi were arrested when they stopped trains at Tiruvarur and Needamangalam.

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