Mixed response to DPI bandh call
By Our Staff Reporter
PONDICHERRY, JUNE 25. The dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the Dalit Panthers of India in Pondicherry to protest the arrest of the party leader, Mr. R. Tirumavalavan, and demand a CBI probe into the murder of the treasurer in Madurai evoked mixed response today.
Most of the buses were off the roads and vehicular movement was less than usual.
Shopowners downed the shutters in a number of places and a good number of private schools were closed. The admission process was also rescheduled by the schools.
The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr.Anandh Mohan, said patrolling was intensified and police pickets were posted at all vulnerable pockets. The police took into preventive custody more than 150 persons including DPI activists.
Some buses were operated in convoys but passengers were stranded in most areas. Schoolgoing children and those going to works at distant villages were hard hit. A number of buses were seen parked inside the municipal bus terminal.
The patients turnout in hospitals was also less than usual.
Meanwhile, Mr. S. Palanivelu, DPI treasurer, thanked the people, educational institutions, merchants and others for their response to the bandh call given by the party.
He also thanked the leaders of the DMK, the PMC, the BJP and other parties for having supported the bandh.
Police open fire to scare away DPI protesters
By Our Staff Reporter
CUDDALORE, JUNE 25. The police today fired in the air to scare away sympathisers of the Dalit Panthers of India, including women, who launched a ``rasta roko'' at Sathiavady on the Vriddhachalam- Pennadam highway to protest the arrest of their leader, Mr. R. Thirumavalavan.
The police ordered the protesters, numbering 300, to disperse. But according to the police, a section of them threw stones and two head constables, Mr. Pazhani and Mr. Kandasamy, were injured. As the situation grew tense, the police resorted to a lathicharge and burst two teargas shells. The police said the protests persisted and they warned the people and opened two rounds of fire in the air.
Order was restored and traffic on the Vriddhachalam- Veppur sector, which remained suspended for about two hours in the morning, resumed later. Twentysix persons, including 16 women, were arrested.
The IG of Police (Law and Order), Mr. K. Subbiah, is camping in Cuddalore, monitoring the situation.
Bus services on the Cuddalore-Pondicherry sector were operated with State police escort, in the wake of the one-day bandh called in Pondicherry to protest the arrest of Mr. Thirumavalavan.
Stir will continue, says Tirumavalavan
Our Vellore Staff Reporter reports:
The DPI will continue its agitation until a CBI enquiry is ordered into the murder of Mudakkathan Pandi, Mr. Tirumavalavan, told newspersons soon after his release from the central prison here this evening.
Mr. Tirumavalavan was arrested on the eve of bandh called by the party on June 22 to protest the murder of Pandi.
Alleging that there was a conspiracy behind the murder, Mr. Tirumavalavan said the DPI was not directly accusing the ruling party but it did not have trust in the local police.
To questions about violence indulged in by his party workers in different parts, he said the DPI was not responsible. ``The cases fabricated against the DPI were the cause of the violence'', he said. Mr. Tirumavalavan said the AIADMK regime did not concentrate on governance but was ``foisting cases and taking revenge'' against political adversaries and ``destroying the schemes of the previous DMK government''. During the last five years of the DMK rule, the DPI had faced several repressive measures, but the important leaders enjoyed protection. But there was no protection for the leaders during the present regime.
Our Cuddalore Staff Reporter
A total of 289 DPI volunteers (160 from Cuddalore and 129 from Villupuram districts) who were taken into preventive custody in the last three days were released today.
Pondy bandh evokes partial response
PONDICHERRY: The 12 hour Pondy bandh called by the Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) on Monday to impress upon the Tamil Nadu Government to order a CBI probe into the murder of party treasurer, Mudakanthan Pandi passed off peacefully evoking partial response from the people.
Normal life was affected following the observence of bandh supported by the NDA allies, DMK, BJP and PMC, though no untoward incident was reported from any part of Pondicherry. In Pondicherry main town and several areas the bandh evoked good response while in the suberbs and distant pockets of Pondicherry it was partial.
In Pondy, the streets wore a deserted look with all the private buses plying in the town and other places went off the road, though some govt buses to various towns did ply with police escort with few passengers. However autorickshaws operated not only in the town limits but also to the distant area and nearby towns. They were the only means of conveyance in the absence of buses, doing brisk business. Business establishments in the main town area kept their shutters down, while those on the suburbs were open.
The markets selling fish, meat and vegetables were all open. Most of the private schools were closed while the govt schools functioned. Cinema theatres cancelled their matinee shows.
Police were placed on high alert and pickets were posted in several sensitive areas besides heavy patrolling in all strategic areas. About 155 persons were earlier taken into preventive custody.
The DPI functionaries, Palanivel, Natarajan and Angalan in a statement thanked the people for their cooperation in making the bandh a success.