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News Entry# 287853
  
Dec 07 2016 (08:43)  Uneasy calm in western districts (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 287853     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128305 news posts
An uneasy calm and eerie silence prevailed in Coimbatore City on Tuesday even as grief enveloped the city following the demise of Jayalalithaa.
Shops, cinemas, hotels, eateries and schools remained shut through the day even as roads wore a deserted look. However, autorickshaws plied from the Coimbatore Railway Junction.
The shutdown was so complete that even pharmacies and road-side vendors had chosen to stay off. The stoic silence and uneasy calm testified to the fact that western Tamil Nadu was a bastion of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
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cadre put up hoardings, portraits and even calendar sheet images of the former Chief Minister at most junctions to pay homage. Ward-level leaders of the party had organised public screening of the proceedings in Chennai by erecting makeshift tents and installing DTH services.
In Sowripalayam, a few cadre tonsured their heads to pay their respects to the departed leader. Police sources said that no untoward incident was reported.
While most of the private offices remained shut, people who had stirred out of their houses for work were seen struggling for even short bites, tea and lunch. Jamat-E-Islami Hind, Students Islamic Organisation and a group of NGOs who had networked through WhatsApp started providing food and biscuits to those stranded and policemen on deployment.
Scene in Nilgiris
In the Nilgiris district, almost all shops, restaurants and petrol pumps were shut down. Expecting trouble, most tourists also decided to stay off the roads and away from popular tourist destinations with most roads completely devoid of traffic. AIADMK cadre and residents also staged brief condolence meetings, preventing free flow of traffic. Around 50 cadre blocked the Ooty to Kotagiri Road for around 30 minutes, and condoled the death of Ms. Jayalalithaa.
AIADMK members observed a ‘silent fast’ in front of the MGR statue. They remained at the spot right from the moment they heard the news about the demise of Ms. Jayalalithaa till the last rites were performed at Marina Beach in Chennai.
All garment units in the Tirupur knitwear cluster remained closed through the day. Some of the units were expected to start production late in the night as they were staring at export deadlines. Shops and private establishments too were closed for the entire day.
In Erode district, people paid homage by offering floral tributes to the departed leader and taking out silent rallies. A condolence meeting attended by people of all walks of life took place near the MGR statue at GH Junction. At Pethampalayam village near Perambalur, people converged to offer homage through the public address system. Though there was no bus services, the impact was not noticeable as people kept indoors to watch the funeral procession on TV.
In Salem and Namakkal districts, shops and markets remained closed and buses and other vehicles were off the road. Since the hotels too had downed shutters, road-side eateries did brisk business throughout the day. Dressed in black, many women were seen crying inconsolably. In Attur town, AIADMK cadre took out a silent procession in the morning, which was followed by another procession by cadre of other political parties, traders’ organisations and voluntary associations.
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.
In Namakkal, AIADMK cadre and the public mourned the death of Ms. Jayalalithaa by taking part in silent processions and by paying floral tributes to her pictures at various places in the district.
( With inputs from V.S. Palaniappan, M. Soundariya Preetha, Karthik Madhavan in Coimbatore, Rohan Premkumar in Udhagamandalam, R. Vimal Kumar in Tirupur, R. Krishnamoorthy in Erode, Syed Muthahar and S.P. Saravanan in Salem and Namakkal and P.V. Srividya in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri ).
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