Monday, November 11, 2013

CHOGM boycott: bandh evokes partial response in TN

Normal life remained unaffected as the state-wide bandh called by pro-Eelam outfits evoked partial response on Tuesday. While there was no impact on essential services and public transport, some train services were affected after protesters resorted to rail-roko agitations in Chennai, Madurai and other places. Government offices, schools, colleges, banks and other industries functioned as usual though some traders, particularly in Coimbatore, downed shutters in support of the agitation, police sources said.

The bandh backed by a few political parties, including the Marulamarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, was to demand India to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka. Accusing Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa of gross human rights violations and war crimes, the protesters also demanded that the island nation be suspended from Commonwealth.

Heightened security arrangements were in place across Tamil Nadu. Protesters mainly targeted suburban trains. Despite heavy security arrangements, they managed to enter the railway station premises and blocked trains across the State. Hundreds of slogan-shouting activists were arrested. In Madurai cadres led by MDMK secretary Vaiko blocked the Madurai-Chennai Vaigai Superfast Express.

The Chennai-Coimbatore Kovai Express, Chennai-Ahmedabad Navajeevan Express and Chennai-Howrah Coromandel Express trains suffered detention for a few minutes due to the agitations, police sources added.
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