Shops forced to down shutters in Chennai

Diners were forced to leave their meals midway as aggressive cadres ensured shutters were downed

Chennai: Agitated AIADMK workers took to the streets of Chennai on Saturday, bringing life to a practical standstill. Reacting to the news of former chief minister Jayalalithaa’s conviction, they forced shops to down their shutters and as a ripple effect malls, movie halls and offices closed early for the day. The ruling party cadres were seen going around the city forcing shopkeepers and restaurants to close.

Diners were forced to leave their meals midway as aggressive cadres ensured shutters were downed. “A few AIADMK cadres threatened to ransack my shop if I did not close it down,” said R. Saravanan, a shop owner in Ashok Nagar. Tamil Nadu Traders Association president T. Vellaiyan said that forceful shutdown of the shops not only affects the traders but also the consumers.

“Senior AIADMK leaders should pacify their cadres and ask them not to force shopkeepers to close the shops,” he said, urging the police to ensure normal life in the city. Many corporate offices and IT companies asked their employees to leave immediately in the afternoon when the news of conviction confirmed. P. Sarath Babu, an employee of an IT company in Mahindra City, said that his company made arrangements for cabs for all the employees to be dropped safely at their homes.

People who had booked tickets for cinema and planned celebrations had a rude awakening to cancel their plans due to reports of violence in the city. P.S. Shanthi, an employee of a private company, and her sisters made big plans to attend their uncle’s 60th birthday celebration on Saturday evening at Madipakkam.

But, the sudden violence in the city spoiled their plans. “We were not able to book a call taxi from Perambur to Madipakkam. Many of our family members called us to stay at home and not to travel for at least two days,” she said.

Every Saturday, K. Gayathri, who works in a software company, travels from Pallikaranai to Velachery to drop her two kids in a music class. But this week it was different. “I thought what’s the connection between music class and Jayalalithaa. But the master called and said no class this week. He was afraid to take classes fearing attack from the party cadres. The class is next to a AIADMK party member,” she said.

( Source : dc correspondents )
Next Story