Four buses, owned by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, and two private buses were damaged during the bandh called by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Thursday to condemn the “failure” of the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board.
Glass of a private hotel on 45 Feet Road and window panes of the six buses were damaged. The protesters forced passengers to alight from a few buses in the New Bus Stand.
Following appeals by the DMK workers, the TNSTC buses were taken out of the bus stand and parked in the depot till evening.
The Puducherry Road Transport Corporation buses remained off the road.
Life was hit with shops, markets, and petrol pumps remaining closed and buses, autorickshaws and share autorickshaws staying off the road. Several passengers were stranded in the bus stand for several hours. Though most of the educational institutions remained closed, a few in rural areas functioned as usual.
All the government and private hospitals functioned without any disruption.
Members of the DMK, the Congress, the VCK and the Left parties went around the town on two-wheelers enforcing the shutdown.
Tension ran high after the police seized the vehicle of DMK MLA, R. Siva. This happened when the protesters, after burning the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in front of the bus stand, stormed the passport office.
The police, led by Superintendent of Police Venketaswamy, warned the supporters against entering the passport office premises. This triggered heated exchanges between Mr. Venketaswamy and Mr. Siva.
Ignoring the warning, party workers picketed the passport office.
As they started shouting slogans, the police ordered the arrest of the protesters, including Mr. Siva.
After the DMK leader was taken in a police vehicle, Mr. Venketaswamy ordered the seizure of Mr. Siva’s vehicle.
Overcoming resistance put by his supporters, the vehicle was taken to the Odhiansalai station.
Mr. Siva said he would face the issue legally as he was not given any valid reason by the police for seizing the vehicle.