Chennai, Sep 15 (UNI) Gullible public could always be taken for a ride and it was not surprising when they thronged the jewellery shops in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu this morning to buy gold at a paltry rate of Rs 4,000 per soverign (eight gm) A week-long rumour that gold would be sold at a lower rate on the occasion of former State Chief Minister C N Annadurai's birth centenary, reached the peak this morning, when people, mostly from the lower middle class, thronged the jewellery shops.
Shop owners, who came to open the shops this morning stood in disbelief as hundreds of people, formed serpentine queues in front of the shops at Cuddalore, Viruthachalam and Punruti areas of Cuddalore district.
The people were convinced that the ''Kalaignar Arasu'' had made arrangements to provide them ''cheap gold'' on the occasion of Mr Annadurai's birth centenary.
As the crowd started swelling, shop owners at several places in the district sought the help of police, who finally used mild force to chase them away this evening.
The rumours were rife for the past one week and it spread like wildfire this morning. Boards were displayed in front of the shops that the Gold price was Rs 8120 per soverign and not Rs 4000.
The sad part of the episode was that many people had sold their old gold ornaments for at least Rs 1000 less than the prevailing rate, hoping that they could compensate the loss by buying cheap gold.
In some areas, people even sold their livestock to buy the gold, reports received from the district said.
UNI XR/WS KVV ARB RK1950