Tamil Nadu witnessed a bandh over the Cauvery waters dispute on Friday. The bandh was called by farmers, traders and was supported by all the Opposition parties including DMK, DMDK, MDMK, Left parties, PMK and the Congress.
DMK leaders MK Stalin and Kanimozhi were among several leaders who were detained while staging protests in support of a shutdown.
In Chennai, DMK treasurer Stalin led a rally from Rajarathinam stadium to Egmore Railway station. He then squatted in front of the railway terminal along with hundreds of party workers after his attempt to stage a rail roko was foiled by police, who detained him along with his protesters.
DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, who staged a road roko on arterial Anna Salai along with DMK supporters, was also later detained by the police.
In Coimbatore, senior leaders of various political parties, including DMK and MDMK and farmers associations were arrested while trying to stage rail roko near railway stations and road blockade.
DMDK leaders and party workers led by party leader Premalatha Vijaykanth, went on a fast at the party headquarters in the state capital. They held placards and raised slogans against the Centre and Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments. They condemned the violence against Tamils in Karnataka and sought protection for them.
In Tiruchirapalli, MDMK supremo Vaiko courted arrest while trying to block trains.
Several establishments remained shut in Coimbatore, Tirupur and Nilgiris districts, affecting normal life, in response to the bandh call.
About 20,000 small and medium scale units in and around the city and over 30,000 garment factories in the textile hub of Tirupur also extended support to the bandh and downed shutters.
The bandh did not affect functioning of state and central government offices in Tamil Nadu, which remained open.
While state transport corporation-run buses and trains operated as usual, some autorickshaws, taxis and commercial freight operators stayed off the roads.
Large-scale demonstrations were on in Thanjavur and the Cauvery delta region by VCK, MDMK and Left parties.
The bandh was called to protest the violence targeting Tamils in Karnataka and also to seek Cauvery water for the state.
Thousands of police personnel, including armed reserve were deployed in the state. Protection was provided to Karnataka related business establishments, schools, institutions and areas where Kannada speaking people live, including Krishnagiri district.
(With inputs from PTI)