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Feb 5, 2009

Mixed Response For Strike

The damaged windscreen of a KSRTC bus on Sathy Road in Coimbatore and a convoy of buses moving on Sathy Road under the protection of the Highway Patrol vehicle during the general strike on Wednesday. The one-day strike organised by Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement on Wednesday passed off peacefully in Coimbatore barring stray incidents of stone pelting on three buses and some shops. More than 80 per cent of the shops remained closed during the day, but later shopkeepers started opening their shops. While Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) operation of services was near normal, private buses kept off the road.


Trains also ran without much hitches. However, many autorickshaws kept off the road. Busy commercial areas of the city wore a deserted look. A Karnataka State Transport Corporation bus was stoned on Sathyamangalam Road in Koilpalayam police limits. Two more TNSTC town buses, one on Tiruchi Road near Olympus and another on Bharathiar Road in Race Course police limits, wer also stoned. Incidents of pelting stones at vehicles at Lakshmi Mills junction on Avanashi Road were reported in the night.


Tirupur: Textile production was severely affected in the knitwear cluster of Tirupur. The production loss, according to industry sources, is pegged at Rs 42 crore. About 95 per cent of 6,200-odd units downed shutters in the morning itself. A few more units too followed suit later.
However, about 30 big manufacturing units, all of them with an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore or more worked. Textile sources told The Hindu that of the 52 units situated inside the Netaji Apparel Park only four units functioned.


The strike was by and large peaceful except stray incidents of violence. Windshield of a State-owned public transport bus plying between Karumathampatti and Tirupur was smashed by some miscreants near Anuparpalayam. Similarly, stones were thrown at a Karnataka State-owned public transport bus. The police arrested five persons, including two students of a knitwear fashion institute, a bank employee and two youth, here on Wednesday on the charge of persuading school students to protest to support the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils.


Erode: Government establishments, banks, both public and private, schools, and a good number of shops remained open, even as a few other business establishments downed shutters in response to Wednesday’s strike call. Most autorickshaws remained off road. The bandh was largely peaceful. Almost all the shops on Sathyamangalam Road, a good number of them on Mettur Road and a few other areas, remained closed. On R.K.V. and neighbouring areas, which constitute the main market, shops remained open. State Transport Corporation buses plied with the police escort. Only private and mofussil buses remained off road.


Though business establishments remained closed, powerloom units and other industries function as usual. SIPCOT industry representatives said they were working like any other day. In the afternoon some miscreants stoned three State Transport Corporation buses near Nambiyur. At Nambiyur Murugan alias Ethiraj, 22, a youth wing worker of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, climbed a mobile phone tower. Police who rushed to the spot, brought him and down and arrested. The police also arrested Sukumaran, 36, who attempted self-immolation in Alangiyam, near Dharapuram.


Salem: Miscreants set on fire the wooden front door of the post office at Kolathur in Mettur block and the window panes of four town buses were damaged in two incidents of stone pelting in Omalur block in Salem district. While residents in a few colonies hoisted black flags atop their houses, nearly 50 to 60 per cent of business establishments remained closed in the city .


Salem Commissioner of Police Sunil Kumar Singh told The Hindu that no untoward incident was reported from any parts of the city and the strike was peaceful. The operation of buses and trains remained undisturbed. Nearly 60 persons were detained on Tuesday night as a precautionary measure. Based on a complaint by postmaster Francis Raja, the Kolathur police registered a case in this connection. Two government buses in Theevattipatti and two more in Omlaur were stoned in the early hours. In Namakkal district, the strike passed off peacefully with nearly 50 per cent of traders participating in it. The weavers’ town of Rasipuram wore a deserted look as about 80 per cent of shops remaining closed.


Udhagamandalam: The call for a general strike given by the Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement evoked a mixed reaction in the Nilgiris district on Wednesday. In Kotagiri practically all the commercial establishments remained closed. While taxies, autorickshaws etc were off the roads buses plied as usual. In Gudalur and surroundings including Pandhalur most of the shops were closed and autorickshaws did not ply. In Udhagamandalam and surroundings normal life remained unaffected. Police sources said that even in Coonoor,Manjoor and Masinagudy normal life was not hit

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