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News Entry# 287747
  
Dec 06 2016 (07:47)  Uneasy calm envelops city after Jayalalithaa’s passing away (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 287747     
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Posted by: rdb*^  125949 news posts
Uneasy calm and eerie silence prevailed on the city roads soon after the official declaration of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s demise late in the night on Monday.
With the city shutting down early, most of the roads wore a deserted look, except for the presence of auto rickshaw and TNSTC drivers, and a few party workers. Police presence was quite noticeable at most of the places and patrol vehicles maintained vigil across the city. Police sources said that no untoward incident was reported.
The AIADMK party office, Idhaya Deivam Maligai, on Huzur Road too
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was deserted. A cadre lowered the party flag to half mast around 1 a.m.
Police pickets remained at many places including the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) office on Cross Cut Road. The city witnessed early shedding in of buses as a matter of precaution, leaving people with no public transport facility since evening. A few NGOs came to the aid of stranded people by providing private vehicles and tourist cabs.
TNSTC sources indicated that resumption of bus services could be delayed and would depend on the law and order situation on Tuesday.
On the edge
Throughout Monday, the city remained on the edge as all eyes were on the health condition of the Chief Minister.
At offices, shops, education institutions and almost everywhere, her health was the topic for discussion and remained on top of minds.
By evening, as rumours that her health had deteriorated spread thick and fast, traders, big and small, downed shutters.
From big shops on Oppanakara Street to Cross Cut Road to 100 Feet Road to neighbourhood shops almost all establishments had downed shutters either fully or partially.
Employees at offices and shops and those working in various government departments too left home early. Sources said that jewellery shops had closed as early as 5 p.m. Many private schools too had called it a day early, keeping in mind the students’ safety.
At the AIADMK headquarters emotions fluctuated from one end to another in no time. On hearing about the change in their leader Jayalalithaa’s health, party men rushed wailing ‘Amma’, ‘Amma’. They cried inconsolably looking at her pictures. A few like S. Divya of Ilaignar Ilam Pengal Pasarai stood silently, glued to news channels on the TV set. Many workers said they refused to believe the channels that said that their leader was no more. And then a couple of workers brought down the party flag at half mast.
In no time as the news turned out to be a rumour and the workers realised that the party flag at the headquarters in Chennai was up again, they rushed to the pole, hoisted the flag again and shouted, ‘long live Puratchi Thalaivi’.
Outside the party office, the Coimbatore City Police had posted a posse of men. At important places, Collectorate, integrated court complex and a few bus stops too policemen were present.
With the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation withdrawing buses to depots, bus stands and roads wore a deserted look. Commuters were left stranded in bus stops and bus stands in Gandhipuram, Singanallur and other places and at the mercy of auto rickshaw drivers who made the most of the situation.
At the Gandhipuram bus stand, many commuters said they were waiting for long for buses. Almost all the bus bays at the mofussil bus stand were empty.
At the city bus stand, the number of stranded commuters was very high. The absence of buses pushed commuters to the railway station to take the earliest train available. Long queues could be seen at booking counters. Among those waiting were students, who said that the institutions had declared holidays.
M. Soundariya Preetha and Karthik Madhavan
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