CHENNAI: Southern districts of Tamil Nadu (TN) on Wednesday observed a shutdown to register protest against the violent incidents last week that killed nine people in the areas.
The shutdown was called by a unity forum of the Thevar community and supported by some political groups that draw support from the community.
The violence occurred during the birth anniversary celebrations of a prominent leader of the community.
Twenty people sustained serious burn injuries, after an unidentified gang hurled petrol bombs on a Tata Sumo vehicle in which they were returning to their native Puliyankulam village in Madurai, after paying homage at the memorial of freedom fighter and late leader of All India Forward Bloc Muthuramalinga Thevar at Chinthamani check post on Oct. 30.
Majority of the shops and business establishments in many parts of Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Dindigul, Theni and Tuticorin districts remained closed on Wednesday.
While essential services remained normal, public transport services were affected in some parts.
Police said the shutdown was by and large peaceful, except for a few minor incidents.
Two buses were stoned at Kovilur village near Karaikudi in Sivaganga district.
The shutdown was total in Madurai district as all the shops and commercial establishments downed their shutters affecting the normal life.
The district administration had declared a day’s holiday to all government, aided and private schools.
A large number of volunteers resorted to roadblock agitation at Goripalayam and Periyar Bus Stand in Madurai, demanding stern action against those who responsible for the violence and killing.
A large number of police personnel were deployed in sensitive pockets in southern districts to prevent any untoward incidents.
Keralite Abu Bucker (50), who was injured in a stone pelting during the Thevar Jayanthi violence on Oct. 30 at RS Madai village in Ramanathapuram district succumbed to injuries at a private hospital in Madurai city on Tuesday night, taking the toll to nine.
The victim, hailing from Malappuram in Kerala, was going to Erwadi Dargah on a pilgrimage with his family, when the attack took place.
Enraged over this, the activists of Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam on Wednesday protested against the attack and demanded Rs500,000 solatium from Tamil Nadu government.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced a relief of Rs500, 000 each to the families of the victims from chief minister’s general relief fund.
Quoting an advocate, IANS on Wednesday reported that the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the beached oil tanker Pratibha Cauvery, which was pushed by strong cyclonic wind, should deposit Rs60 million towards compensation for the death of six sailors before moving out of Chennai Port waters.
“Hearing the case filed by the relatives of a dead sailor, the court ordered that the ship should not sail out of Chennai waters without depositing Rs60 million towards compensation,” S. Prabakaran, counsel for M. Shankaranarayanan, told IANS.
Shankaranarayanan is the brother of Anand Mohandas, a crew member who was drowned on Oct.31.