TN bandh over Cauvery: DMK leaders detained, industries shut

Chennai: DMK leaders M K Stalin and Kanimozhi were among several leaders detained today while staging protests in support of a shutdown called in Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery row as the dawn to dusk bandh called by farmers, traders and supported by the opposition over the issue evoked a mixed response in the state.

DMK leaders M K Stalin
DMK leaders M K Stalin

Meanwhile, a youth who had set himself on fire over the Cauvery issue yesterday, succumbed to injuries, police said.

The activist belonging to Naam Tamizhar Katchi had suffered over 90 per cent burns and died this morning.

“We were giving him all possible treatment. However, he suffered a cardiac arrest and despite our best efforts, he could not be revived,” a senior hospital official told PTI.

Several establishments remained shut in Coimbatore, Tirupur and Nilgiris districts, affecting normal life, in response to the bandh call.

About 20,000 small and medium scale units in and around the city and over 30,000 garment factories in the textile hub of Tirupur also extended support to the bandh and downed shutters, according to reports.

In Chennai, DMK treasurer Stalin led a rally from Rajarathinam stadium to Egmore Railway station. He then squatted in front of the railway terminal along with hundreds of party workers after his attempt to stage a rail roko was foiled by police, who detained him along with his protesters.

DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, who staged a road roko on arterial Anna Salai along with DMK supporters, was later detained by police in a marriage hall. She has sought convening of an all-party meeting over the Cauvery issue.

In Coimbatore, senior leaders of various political parties, including DMK and MDMK and farmers associations were arrested while trying to stage rail roko near railway stations and road blockade.

The bandh did not affect functioning of state and central government offices in Tamil Nadu, which remained open.

While state transport corporation-run buses besides trains are operating as usual, some autorickshaws, taxis and commercial freight operators stayed off the roads.