Rail, road rokos, protests mark TN farmers' bandh

Rail, road rokos, protests mark TN farmers' bandh

The day-long state-wide bandh in Tamil Nadu, called by farmers and backed by opposition parties and trade unions, protesting Karnataka's move to build a new dam across Cauvery in Mekedatu today evoked good response in the delta region of the state but life remained largely unaffected in TN.

The bandh, called by Coordination Committee of All Farmers Associations, saw shops and commercial outlets downing their shutters in delta region, where farmers depend on Cauvery's water for irrigation.

Public and private transport services operated as usual in most parts of the state while peaceful protests and road and rail rokos marked the bandh across the state, police said.
A majority of shops and offices in the city remained open.

Establishments and retail outlets, however, downed shutters in Cauvery delta districts, including Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Cuddalore.
Shops were shut in Karur, Erode, Dharmapuri, Nilgiris and areas close to Karnataka like Hosur and Sathyamangalam.

Eight state-run transport corporations operated buses as usual though employees belonging to opposition trade unions refrained from work in several locations, officials said.
Public transport operations between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka remained largely suspended as buses were halted at state borders in Hosur and Satyamangalam.

Taxi and auto operators affiliated to the Left trade unions did not ply their vehicles. Sand and tipper lorry operators too did not operate their vehicles.

Farmers' outfits and parties, including the DMK and MDMK, resorted to rail blockade at locations including Egmore and Central railway stations here and Thanjavur while Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi cadres staged similar protest in Coonoor in Nilgiris District and Tiruchirappalli. All the protesters were detained, police said.

Similarly, protest demonstrations were held across the state, including Thiruvarur, where functionaries belonging to farmers outfits and political parties staged an agitation near the bus stand. Protests were peaceful and incident-free.
The bandh was called to protest Karnataka's move to build a new dam at Mekedatu across Cauvey river.

DMK, DMDK, PMK, MDMK, Congress and left parties are among those who are supporting the bandh. Ruling AIADMK neither supported the shutdown nor opposed it.

The state Assembly proceedings slated for today were postponed to Monday in response to views expressed by members of the Business Advisory Committee to Speaker P Dhanapal.

On the political front, a delegation of MPs belonging to the state is set to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi this evening in Delhi seeking his intervention to stop Karnataka from taking up the proposal, which Tamil Nadu contends is a violation of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal's final award.

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