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Violence mars Tamil Nadu bandh, Chennai remains unaffected

February 04, 2009 12:44 IST

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Stray incidents of violence were reported from some parts of the state as the day-long general strike called by an umbrella organisation of pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam parties began on Wednesday morning.

Incidents of stone pelting on state-owned buses were reported from some districts, police said, adding that no one was injured in the incidents. Normal life remained unaffected in the state capital where public transport services, including autorickshaws, were operating as usual, police said.

The Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement, an umbrella organisation of pro-LTTE parties such as Pattali Makkal Katchi, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and Tamil Nationalist Movement, has given the call for the strike to express solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils.

The police said unidentified persons damaged windscreens of government buses at different places including Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Tanjavur, Vellore, Dharmapuri, Tiruchirapalli, Dindigul and Tirunelveli. A Karnataka state transport bus was damaged near Avinashi in Coimbatore district by unidentified miscreants who pelted stones at the vehicle.

A state government bus was also damaged in a similar incident at Ramanathapuram locality. Private buses, taxis and autos kept off the roads and about 60 per cent of commercial establishments downed shutters.

The state police, which had made elaborate security arrangements to maintain law and order, had warned that the National Security Act would be invoked against those who caused damage to public property.

In Chennai, no untoward incident was reported, police said, adding that the general strike call had not made much of an impact on normal life, though some shops were closed.

The Vanikargal Sankankalin Peravai, a traders' body headed by T Vellaiyan, had pledged its support to the strike call. Government buses and train services were not affected, and around 8,000 police personnel had been posted in the city, police said.

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