Over 2,000 pro-prohibition protesters held in TN

Over 2,000 pro-prohibition protesters held in TN

More than 2,000 people from various political outfits were arrested in Tamil Nadu during the statewide bandh called by opposition parties for total prohibition.

The protest evoked mixed response even as incidence of stone-pelting were reported from few districts.

However, normal life remained unaffected in the state following the protest as most of the commercial establishments and educational institutions were opened in several parts of the districts.

Leaders of various political parties, including Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Left parties and Vidhuthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), who had called for a bandh following the death of Gandhian activist Sasi Perumal during an anti-liquor protest four days ago, were arrested in several parts of the state, including Chennai, Coimbatore Madurai, Trichy and Virudhunagar districts, for trying to lay siege to state-owned liquor shops. The bandh evoked good response and most of the shops were closed at Marthandam in Kanniyakumari district where anti-liquor crusader Sasi Perumal died.

The demand for total prohibition has gained momentum among political parties. The main opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Congress and BJP are also supporting the move.

Police sources here said that more than 50 people belonging to various political parties in Kaniyakumari district were taken into custody when they pelted stones at private buses. A senior police official said violent incidents including road blockade were reported in major cities including in Chennai and Coimbatore. “In Chennai,  VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, CPI State Secretary S Mutharasan, CPI(M) State Secretary G Ramakrishnan and MMK leader M H Jawahirullah were among the 200 people arrested when they tried block the road,” the police official said.

In addition, more than 250 cadres of MDMK workers led by senior party leader M V Sathya were taken into custody for picketing a liquor shop at Mylapore.

Over 150 women activists were held in Chennai when they staged a novel protest by purchasing liquor from state-owned shops and tried to consume it. Extra security forces were deployed in all the 6,800 liquor shops in the state to stop any untoward incidents.

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