Tamil Nadu, Puducherry shutdown a partial success

June 7th, 2008 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, June 7 (IANS) The day-long shutdown to protest fuel price hikes, called by Left parties in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Saturday, was a partial success. Shops were closed in many parts of Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry, and auto-rickshaws unions participated in full.

However, buses and trains plied normally.

The unions led by the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), an ally of Left parties in Tamil Nadu as well as the centre, did not take part in the protest.

The chief opposition AIADMK too kept away from Saturday’s protest, saying it would hold its own protest over fuel price hike Monday.

AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha called the price hike “inhuman’.

Traders affiliated to the Vanigar Sangam (traders’ association) supported the Left protest.

Stones were thrown at a bus near the temple town of Chidambaram, and a few passengers were hurt. Stray incidents of stone-pelting damaged over 40 buses, police sources added.

Police were deployed in strength both in Chennai and Puducherry.

In Chennai more than 200 Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) cadres were arrested for staging demonstrations. The Left parties took their protest to Madurai, Coimbatore and Salem.

In Hosur, 70 people were arrested for attempting to blockade a rail track, police said.

In Sivaganga, MLA S. Gunasekaran was among 150 arrested for trying to blockade a road.

In Tanjavur, 300 people including activists of the CPI-M youth wing were arrested.

In the Union Territory of Puduchery, private buses too kept off the road. Communist Party of India (CPI) legislator Nara Kalainathan and his supporters were arrested while trying to blockade a road. About 35 Left activists were held for attempting to shut down a textile mill.

While officials termed Saturday’s shutdown of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry a failure, the Left parties claimed a complete success.

An official communiqu

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