TAMIL NADU

Strike call evokes mixed reaction in the Nilgiris

The Commercial Road in Udhagamandalam wears a deserted look on Thursday owing to the general strike. —

The Commercial Road in Udhagamandalam wears a deserted look on Thursday owing to the general strike. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy

Special Correspondent

Elaborate security arrangements made to maintain

Udhagamandalam: The call for a general strike given by the ruling party to focus attention on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka evoked mixed reaction in the Nilgiris district on Thursday.

While all the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) buses and private sector mini buses were off the road for the better part of the day, autorickshaws and taxies plied as usual. Train services were not affected.

Practically all the commercial establishments remained closed. Only a few petty shops were open. Since restaurants were closed, many tourists were subjected to considerable hardship. Some of the educational institutions declared a holiday.

Though government offices, banks etc functioned as usual, attendance was affected owing to lack of transport.

Police sources told ‘The Hindu’ that no untoward incidents were reported from any part of the district. Elaborate security arrangements had been made to maintain law and order.

Peaceful

Our Coimbatore reporter adds: The dawn-to-dusk general strike call given by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam to express solidarity with the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils was near total and passed off peacefully.

Offices, both government and private, and industrial units reported near normal attendance. Public transportation system was affected with buses, both TNSTC and private, keeping off the road. Autorickshaws also did not ply.

Very few call taxis were on the road. As a matter of precaution, the City Police had deployed armed guards at vital installations such as All India Radio, telephone exchange, Collectorate, railway station and bus stand. Riot combat vehicle – Vajra and water cannon were positioned near the bus stand besides deployment of strike force personnel.

Roads wore a deserted look with not even a single tea shop or petty shop remaining open. While hotels had downed shutters, public were forced to visit the various mess across the city. Roadside water melon vendors and tender coconut vendors did a brisk business. However, the Collectorate area remained busy despite shops remaining closed with workers of various parties flocking to support candidates who filed their nominations.

Tirupur: Normal life was disrupted and industries suffered losses in the district following the dawn-to-dusk general strike observed on Thursday. All the 228 buses attached to the Tirupur division of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation kept off the road till about 4.30 p.m. after the staff refused to operate them.

Some employees said they got scared after five buses were attacked just a few hours prior to the commencement of the strike.

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