Hundreds of Dravida Munetra Kazhagam workers, including its Treasurer MK Stalin, were arrested on Tuesday as part of the dawn-to-dusk general strike by the party-backed pro-Sri Lankan Tamil outfit Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization which evoked mixed response with normal life by and large remaining unaffected in Tamil Nadu.
The police said no untoward incidents were reported as part of the 12 hour strike called by TESO to exert more pressure on New Delhi to support a United States-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi, who had revived TESO last year floated by him in the 1980s, had called for peaceful protests. In Chennai, Stalin, Dravidar Kazhagam leader K Veeramani and Viduthalai Chiruthaaigal Katchi founder and Lok Sabha Member of Parliament Thol.
Thirumavalavan were arrested when they staged a road-blockade, the police said. DMK workers took to various forms of protests including rail-blockade in various parts of the state and shouted slogans against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Some shops were closed in several parts of the state but life remained largely normal in Chennai and elsewhere with government buses and trains operating smoothly.
The strike call evoked lukewarm response in the industrial districts of Coimbatore and Tirupur besides in Madurai. In the hill district of Nilgiris, shops were closed in Gudalur, Kothagiri and Coonoor, affecting normal life, while commercial units remained open at Udhagamandalam,the major tourist spot in the district. Vehicles plied as usual.
In Coimbatore, Small and Medium industries were divided on the support for the strike. Some of them struck work while for many others it was business as usual.
The strike call evoked good response in the neighbouringunion territory of Puduchery, governed by the All India N R Congress party.
Many DMK activists were taken into custody even as most shops remained closed in response to the strike call. Superintendent of police S Ramaraj told PTI two buses belonging to the State Transport Corporation were stoned on the outskirts of Puducherry in the wee hours on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, students of various colleges in Chennai and some parts of Tamil Nadu continued with their protests seeking independent probe against Colombo for alleged war crimes.