Chennai: Statewide protests by political parties entered fifth day with traffic badly hit in busy areas. Pro-Tamil outfits locked income tax, passport and postal offices creating tension. DMK sympathizer Prabhu who consumed rat poison seeking Cauvery water died in Salem on Wednesday. The deceased was upset over the Centre not setting up CMB and his relatives told reporters that Prabhu was against the proposed visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Tamil Nadu this month for the Defence Expo.
Meanwhile, rail roko by Communist Party of India leaders in Chennai, Tiruvarur and Puducherry also affected passenger travel. There was no closure of shops on Wednesday. But traders' associations and trade unions of opposition parties said they would join the Thursday's state wide called by transport employees.
Earlier in the day, DMK leader M.K. Stalin announced he would launch a Cauvery rights retrieval yatra from Tiruchy to Chennai. The details about the march will be decided at an all-party meeting to be held in the city tomorrow.
Calling upon the members of the public to support the state-wide bandh of the opposition parties on Thursday, Mr Stalin said the bandh has been called to ensure TN's due rights on Cauvery. “We are going to hold all party meeting tomorrow to discuss next course of action,” Mr Stalin told reporters at the airport here on Wednesday and informed that the date for taking out Cauvery Rights Retrieval Yatra will be decided during the meeting. The opposition parties have planned to make the dawn-to-dusk bandh on Thursday a huge success, he said.
In Chennai, former city mayor M. Subramanian and DMK legislators blocked roads but there were no major untoward incidents and after raising slogans against the centre, they were arrested and later released. In Coimbatore, Cuddalore and Villupuram, the opposition members staged protests in front of Central government offices including BSNL. DMK's youth wing members also staged a novel protest with skulls and squatted on the road raising slogans that the livelihood of TN farmers was under peril.
Tamilaga Vanigar Sangangalin Peravai, a trade body, announced its support for the DMK-led Opposition's call for a shutdown on Thursday on the Cauvery issue.