Chennai: The bandh called by the DMK-led opposition parties to 'condemn' the police firing at the anti-Sterlite protesters in Thoothukudi in which 13 lives were lost, and also to press for Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to resign, passed off peacefully on Friday.
The bandh evoked strong response with most business establishments and shops closed in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts adjoining Thoothukudi where the shops were mostly open to cater to the conflict-weary public. There was good response to the bandh in Tiruvarur, Tirupur and Coimbatore also. In the Congress-ruled Puducherry, the impact was total with even the government-run buses off roads and most establishments were shut, including cinema houses.
The response to the bandh was, however, only luke-warm in the rest of the state; perhaps due to the public fatigue over such mass protests-the last one was over Cauvery on April 5 called by the opposition parties.
There was another bandh by the traders association the day before that. The public had a tough time on April 12 too as the Opposition protested against Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting Chennai for inaugurating DefExpo. And so on.
In this latest one, DMK and allies, including the Congress, IUML and MMK, besides other parties such as the VCK, CPI, CPI (M) and MDMK, took out protest rallies, with their leaders and cadres courting arrest. They were released later in the evening. DMK working president M.K. Stalin led the protest at Madurantakam in Kancheepuram district while his sister and party Rajya Sabha Member Kanimozhi was in the forefront of the demo at Egmore in Chennai, where she was joined by VCK's Thol Thirumavalavan and M. H. Jawahirullah of the MMK.
Speaking to reporters after his release from a marriage hall at Acharapakkam in the evening, Stalin said the Opposition would continue agitating "until this government goes for good"....