Bandh violence mars normal life, more than 100 arrested

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Madurai, Apr 24 (UNI) Violence marred normal life in Madurai following today's dawn-to-dusk bandh sponsored by the Tamil Nadu unit of All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) in the Southern districts of Tamil Nadu to protest against the recent desecration of the statue of freedom fighter and icon of Mukkulathor community Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar.

Police arrested more than 100 volunteers of AIFB in Madurai district, in connection with the violent incidents and road roko stir. Stray incidents of violence were reported in the Southern districts.

Police sources said about 60 buses of the state transport corporation were damaged during the bandh, which ended this evening.

Passengers of a town bus had a miraculous escape when a petrol bomb hurdled by miscreants on the bus at Nagamalai Pudukkottai missed the target and exploded on the road.

In an incident of stone pelting, four drivers and some passengers were injured. A bus driver suffered severe head injuries, when a stone hit him after smashing through the windscreen. The injured were treated at the Government Rajaji Hospital, here.

The state transport corporation, Madurai region, operated limited service to various destinations, following the violence. Most of the commercial establishments which remained closed in the morning, were opened for business in the afternoon.

Members of All India Forward Block (AIFB) resorted to road blockade at various places in Madurai district. However, police swung into action and arrested them.

In Madurai city, AIFB state Secretary and popular Tamil actor M Karthik along with his partymen, resorted to ''road roko'' stir near the Thevar statue at Goripalayam, this evening. He was arrested and later released later. Earlier, Karthik and his partymen picketed vehicle near the Railway junction at Tirunelveli. Later, he withdrew his agitation.

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