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News Entry# 287834
  
Dec 07 2016 (08:18)  Normal life comes to a standstill in Erode, Salem districts (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 287834     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128472 news posts
Uneasy calm gripped the otherwise busy roads in the city on Tuesday in the aftermath of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s demise.
Movement of people and vehicular traffic along EVN Road, Gandhiji Road, Brough Road and Perundurai Road was far and few in between.
The RKV Road and Netaji Market area, the main business hub, wore a deserted look. At the main bus stand, there were neither buses nor passengers.
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Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation stationed its buses at depots. Passenger movement at the Railway Junction also thinned down as the day progressed. The Erode-Coimbatore passenger service ran near empty. Autos and call taxis also kept off the roads.
But for Aavin booths that were kept open, much to the relief of the public, all other shops remained closed.
At localities, residents paid homage to the portrait of the late Chief Minister. Women, young and old, could be seen wailing inconsolably. Former Deputy Mayor K.C. Palanichamy led a procession of AIADMK cadre to pay homage to their leader.
There was one stone-pelting incident in which the windscreen of a van stationed by the roadside was broken at Kasipalayam. No other untoward incident was reported.
In Salem, cadres of political parties and people from all walks of life mourned the demise of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa by paying floral tributes, taking out silent processions, organising condolence meetings and special prayers across the district on Tuesday.
Shops and markets remained closed and buses and other vehicles were off the roads in Salem city and other parts of the district.
Both the bus stands in Salem city – the new bus stand and old bus stand – and all the main thoroughfares wore a totally deserted look since late Monday night.
The Leigh Bazaar, a major trading centre, other markets and 11 uzhavar santhais in Salem district did not function on Tuesday. Since the hotels too down shutters, roadside eateries did a brisk business throughout the day.
The party men and people of the residential localities, particularly those residing in the slums, of all the 60 Corporation wards had displayed the decorated portraits and giant flex boards of the departed leader in the nook and corner of the city and other towns. Scores of people paid floral tributes to the portraits, even while women in black attire cried inconsolably, beating their chest and bemoaning the demise at such venues.
Even as all the front-ranking leaders of the party, including MPs and MLAs, have left for Chennai, the cadre of AIADMK took out silent processions in towns and villages.
In Attur town, the cadre took out a silent procession in the morning, which was followed by another procession by cadre of other political parties, traders’ bodies and voluntary organisations. All-party silent processions were taken out in Vazhappadi town, P. Natramangalam, Arisipalayam and various other villages.
About 40 cadre of the party tonsured their heads in front of the portrait of Jayalalithaa in Minnampalli, while another five did so in Gorimedu.
Very few autos plied in the city that too in the Salem Junction area by the break of dawn for the benefit of people arriving by overnight trains and they were in good demand.
In the absence of city and rural bus services, the stranded commuters took advantage of the passenger train services – Erode-Mettur passenger; Erode-Jolarpettai passenger and Salem-Vridhachalam passenger trains on Monday evening and also on Tuesday.
These passenger trains came handy to the city residents to reach the other city centres such as Salem Market, Salem Town, Ayodhyapattanam, Minnampalli etc, in the absence of city bus services.
Long queues of commuters were spotted at the ticket counters in Salem Railway Junction and Town Railway station.
The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation and the Karnataka State Transport Corporation did not operate the inter-state bus services in the Mettur – Mysuru / MM Hills route for the second consecutive day.
A condolence meeting was held in Periyar University, where a large number of teachers, non-teaching staff and students paid respects to the departed soul.
C. Swaminathan, Vice-Chancellor, recalled the yeoman service rendered by late leader for the over all development of the State in different fields, particularly in promoting higher education opportunities.
M. Manivannan, Registrar, was also present.
In Namakkal, the AIADMK cadre and people paid their last respect to the Chief Minister at various places in the district on Tuesday.
Over 500 cadre and the public took out a silent procession in the town in the morning and recalled her contributions to the growth of people and society.
Flex boards with the picture of the party supremo were erected at many public places and villagers paid floral tributes and condoled her death. All the shops remain closed throughout the day as people remained indoors. Roads wore a deserted look.
Over 800 police personnel were posted for duty at various places in the district to prevent untoward incidents. The situation remained calm in the district.
(Reporting by R. Krishnamoorthy in Erode, Syed Muthahar Saqaf in Salem and S.P. Saravanan in Namakkal)
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