Bandh paralyses rail, road traffic in Southern TN districts

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Madurai, Jun 7: The dawn-to-dusk bandh, called by the Left parties in protest against the fuel price hike, had paralysed vehicular traffic and train services in the Southern districts of Tamil Nadu today.

Hundreds of 'red-shirt volunteers,' including women, were taken into custody by the police for attempting to disrupt road traffic and train movement in Madurai, Tirunelveli, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Theni and Dindigul districts, since this morning.

In Madurai, police rounded up about 800 CPI, CPI(M) and All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) volunteers, including 100 women, when they attempted to disrupt rail traffic at Madurai Railway Junction. The volunteers were led by Member of Parliament P Mohan of CPI(M), CPI(M) District Secretary R Annadurai and CPI District Secretary M Saravanan.

Some of them managed to break the police cordon and picketed the Chennai-bound Guruvayur Express train. However, police swung into action and removed the agitators from the railway tracks.

Similarly, the CPI volunteers picketed Shenkottah Express at Thirupparankundram here. Police arrested 35 volunteers in this connection.

In Tirunelveli, police arrested 98 volunteers of CPI and CPI(M) when they tried to resort to 'rail roko' at Tirunelveli Railway Junction. About 200 volunteers were arrested in the district for interrupting vehicular movement in 16 places.

Over 600 volunteers were arrested in Dindigul district for trying to disrupt vehicular movement at 29 places. In Theni district, police rounded up 56 CPI and CPI(M) volunteers, when they tried to disrupt rail traffic at Theni Railway Station.

In Ramanathapuram district, police arrested about 100 volunteers and about 394 volunteers, including eight women, were taken into custody in Virudhunagar district.

Barring road and rail roko agitations by Left party activists, life remained unaffected in the Southern districts. No untoward incidents were reported, police said.

Over 600 shops, affiliated to 'Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peravai,' downed their shutters expressing their solidarity with the bandh, while other commercial establishments, government offices, shops, industries functioned as usual in Madurai district. The State Transport Corporation, Madurai Division, operated 70 per cent of its bus services to various destinations.

UNI

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