September 16, 2016
Chennai: While normal life was severely affected in several districts, the response to the Cauvery bandh was, at the most, lukewarm in other parts of the state, including the capital, Chennai. Police presence was stepped up all over the state and thousands were arrested when they tried to stage protests.
The strike was supported by various opposition parties in the state, including the DMK, Congress, MDMK, DMDK, Tamil Maanila Congress, VCK, and the PMK.
The strike was generally peaceful with no major incidents of violence anywhere in the state. About one lakh police personnel were deployed all over Tamil Nadu from Thursday onwards to prevent any untoward incident. Additional security was provided to all the Karnataka-based business establishments and institutions.
The DMK leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, MK Stalin, and his sister Kanimozhi MP, along with more than 200 party cadres were arrested when they tried to enter the Egmore railway station. MDMK leader Vaiko was arrested in Trichy when he led a protest demonstration with the Delta farmers. Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan was also taken into preventive custody in Chennai.
DMDK founder Vijayakanth stayed away from the protests due to ill health. The party’s protesters were led by his wife, Premalatha Vijayakanth.
Badly hit districts
Life in some districts like Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Trichy, Nagapattinam and parts of Salem was paralyzed with all the shops and business establishments remaining closed. Farmers were arrested at various place when they tried to stage road-roko protests.
While government buses plied the roads, most private vehicles stayed away.