TAMIL NADU

Normal life in Tirunelveli, Tuticorin districts hit

empty: Bus stands in Tuticorin (left) and Palayamkottai wearing a deserted look on Thursday.

empty: Bus stands in Tuticorin (left) and Palayamkottai wearing a deserted look on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: — Photos: N. Rajesh and A. Shaikmohideen

Madurai Bureau

Mixed response to strike call in Kanyakumari district

TIRUNELVELI: Normal life was paralysed completely on Thursday following the dawn-to-dusk bandh call given by the DMK in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils and pressing the Centre to exert pressure on the island nation for immediate truce.

Except a few roadside teashops, almost all business establishments across the district remained closed and the government offices functioned with skeletal strength as buses did not ply.

However, all Central Government offices and banks functioned as usual and most of the shops in Ervadi and Thisaiyanvilai remained open.

The only State Government undertaking which transacted business throughout the day normally was the Indian Made Foreign Liquor outlets of TASMAC.

Though students in urban areas managed to arrive at their schools in time, functioning of the educational institutions in rural areas was badly hit as students could not reach their schools after bus services were totally cancelled.

Complaint by AIADMK

“When we went to the depot this morning to take the buses, we were asked to give an undertaking in writing that the drivers and the conductors could be held responsible for any possible damage to the vehicles. When we refused, we were not allowed to take the buses,” complained the drivers and conductors affiliated to the Anna Thozhirsanga Paeravai, the trade union wing of AIADMK.

Members of DMK’s Thozhilaalar Munnetra Sangam observed fast on the South Bypass Road pressing the same demand.

Congress defers filing of nomination

Filing of nomination by the Congress candidate for Tirunelveli Parliamentary constituency, scheduled for Thursday, was deferred to Friday in view of the general strike. Police had made elaborate security arrangements in view of the bandh.

Tuticorin

The dawn-to-dusk general strike called by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi on Thursday evoked a good response as buses, auto rickshaws and the other vehicles did not ply in the district.

Trade unions had also expressed their cooperation to the strike call. Many roads wore a deserted look. Almost all shops and hotels on busy streets remained closed. However, essential supplies were not affected.

Nagercoil

The general strike called by the ruling party and its allies evoked a mixed response on Thursday in different parts of the district.

All the shops and other business establishments remained closed. Office goers and students of a few schools were put to hardship as transport corporation buses did not ply, even as the Chief Secretary assured that normal life would not be affected and buses would ply as usual.

The AIADMK, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazagham and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazagham opposed the general strike and said that it was an attempt to divert the attention of voters to cast their votes in favour of DMK and Congress in the election.

Shops and other business establishment remained closed in Marthandam, Thuckalay, Karungal, Monday Market, Kanyakumari, Nagercoil and Colachel. But in Padmanabhapuram, Kalkurichi, Muthalakurichi, Vattam, Maylode and other rural areas of the district shops remained open.

The Kerala State Transport Corporation operated bus service up to Kaliyakkavilai. The Southern Railway operated train service as usual. Similarly, autorickshaws, vans, taxi and lorries mostly laden with sand were operated as usual.

The police made elaborate arrangements to prevent any untoward incident.

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