CHENNAI: A bandh called by the DMK and its associate parties to condemn the Centre's failure to constitute a Cauvery management board evoked good response in Tamil Nadu. Most shops remained closed and bus services were effectively affected. The bandh also affected train services in some places as protesters staged rail rokos. DMK working president MK Stalin, TNCC chief S Thirunavukkarasar, Dravida Kazhagam leader K Veeramani, and VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan were arrested by the police for blocking arterial roads like the Anna Salai in Chennai.
After staging a road roko on the Anna Salai, Stalin and others were marching towards the Anna Memorial when police stopped and arrested them. When Stalin was arrested, DMK cadre turned violent, some of them toppled barricades kept on the roadside. Following the arrest, Stalin and other party leaders were detained in a marriage hall at Purasawalkam. Ironically, he conducted the marriage of a VCK member in the marriage hall. He did so in the presence of Thirumavalavan. He gave Rs 500 each to the couple as present.
Meanwhile, protesters blockerd main roads in all cities and towns, including Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai, Salem, Tirunelveli and Thanjavur. CPM state secretary K Balakrishnan and party cadre blocked trains at Park Station in Chennai. There were also reports of farmers and Left party members blocking trins in various parts of the state. Bus services were being operated, but not to the full extent. Protesters damaged MTC buses in Chennai. Government buses and a private bus were pelted with stones in Vellore and Tiruvallur districts. DR Dharmarajan, secretary, Federation of Bus Operators Association of Tamil Nadu, said, “Around 147 city buses and 153 mofussil private buses ply out of Trichy every day. Though we are not part of the protest, fearing backlash, around 30 per cent of private buses were not operated.”