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Thursday, September 20, 2012
Shops stay shut on Naam Tamizhar Bandh
Most of the shops and business establishments remained closed on Monday, during the bandh called by Naam Thamizhar Iyakkam, to protest against the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the country.
Barring a few incidents of smashing the windscreens of four buses, the bandh passed off peacefully without violence. Normal life was not affected despite the closure of shops and business establishments.
While majority of the private educational institutions were closed, medical shops and milk booths functioned as usual. Police personnel were deployed at key junctions and mobile patrols were operated to monitor the trouble makers. Despite the presence of police, shops downed their shutters as they feared some untoward incidents, resulting in loss of property. “Even a stone thrown by an activist could cost us thousands,” said a shop owner of Nehru Street, a shopping hub in the town. Police said 18 activists of the Naam Tahmizhar Iyakkam, launched by film maker Seeman, were arrested as they tried to stage a road blockade. Government offices, banks and central government institutions functioned normally.
However, people had a tough time reaching their destinations due to shortage of buses and auto rickshaws. The private buses were off the road. But buses belonging to Puducherry Road Transport Corporation, Tamil Nadu Road Transport Corporation (TNSTC), and State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) plied as usual.
The Naam Thamizhar Iyakkam had called for the bandh as they were opposing the visit of Rajapaksa to Madhya Pradesh .
The activists alleged that the Sri Lankan President was responsible of the killing of thousands of Tamils in the Island nation during the final phase of the Eelam war.