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News Entry# 287829
  
Dec 07 2016 (08:09)  Coimbatore mourns Jayalalithaa (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 287829     
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Posted by: rdb*^  129373 news posts
Deserted roads, closed shops, empty bus stands, police pickets and street corner homages was how Coimbatore was in mourning on Tuesdays, reacting to Monday night’s announcement that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had passed away.
Right from morning all shops - big and small, including pharmacies, had their shutters down. Markets too were closed. Private sector offices too had closed down. As a result, the number of buses - State and private owned - on roads was zero. Auto rickshaws and taxis too stayed off road.
The near absence of vehicles for transit inconvenienced many
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commuters who had arrived in or planning to leave the city. Munna Payeng of New Delhi had arrived at the Coimbatore Railway Junction to proceed to the Coimbatore Airport but could not as there was no transport available.
Sitting at a bus shelter next to the Railway Junction on State Bank Road he was fiddling his phone to see if he could book taxis. “I’ve a plane to board to New Delhi. I’m not sure if I’ll make it.”
On the Road, many commuters who had arrived in the city could be seen walking with their luggage.
Bus stands in Gandhipuram, Ukkadam, Singanallur and on Mettupalayam Road were empty, save for children who made the most of the space available by playing cricket.
The police along with Rapid Action Force personnel in riot gear ensured that there was no untoward incident. To the security personnel on duty, many volunteers and social service organisations served refreshments/snacks.
To the people on roads, small time vendors with tea, coffee in flasks mounted on two-wheelers and snacks helped tide over hunger. Complementing them were a few tea stalls that functioned with shutters partially down or from behind curtains.
The AIADMK party office, Idhaya Deivam Maligai, too wore a deserted look. The ward-level leaders and members of affiliate organisations like Pasarai assembled in Gandhipuram, Sivananda Colony and a few other pockets to pay homage to their general secretary. Workers from other parties joined the AIADMK men in paying homage by flying their party flags in half mast.
The BJP and Left parties too flew their flags at half mast.
A few leaders had also organised public screening of the developments in Chennai by installing DTH services. In street corners, AIADMK cadre and sympathisers put up portraits, hoardings and posters to pay homage to the late leader. Many lit candles and paid floral tributes.
On Langar Kana Street, behind Flower Market on Mettupalayam Road, the AIADMK men had erected her hoarding on a bullock cart that they had parked on the middle of the road. In Sowripalayam, around 20 cadre tonsured their heads to pay homage.
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