Meanwhile, a youth who had set himself on fire over the Cauvery issue yesterday, succumbed to injuries, police said. The activist belonging to Naam Tamizhar Katchi had suffered over 90 per cent burns and died this morning.

"We were giving him all possible treatment. However, he suffered a cardiac arrest and despite our best efforts, he could not be revived," a senior hospital official told reporters. 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, according to reports.

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 later detained by police in a marriage hall. She has sought convening of an all-party meeting over the Cauvery issue.

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.

Massive protests have been hit across the state by farmers' associations. Protesters staged agitation at railways stations in Tamil Nadu.

The bandh did not affect functioning of state and central government offices in Tamil Nadu, which remained open. While state transport corporation-run buses besides trains are operating as usual, some autorickshaws, taxis and commercial freight operators stayed off the roads.

Barring the ruling AIADMK party that is silent on extending support to the strike, all other major political parties have extended their support. The BJP, while supporting the strike cause, condemned those organisations that planned demonstrations outside the central government offices. In Trichy MDMK leader Vaiko was prevented by the police from holding protest blocking the rail traffic.


Speaking to the media, Vaiko said the Bharatiya Janata Party led central government is also adopting the same policy like the earlier Congress government when it comes to the Cauvery river water sharing issue. The central government is not setting up the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulatory Authority. In Chennai, the DMDK party is holding a hunger strike while its founder A. Vijaykant citing health reasons did not participate in the protest as announced earlier. DMK leader M.K. Stalin tried to hold protest in Egmore Railway Station and was taken into custody by the police.

Majority of the shops, private schools, transport services like auto-rickshaws, private buses, fuel outlets did not function owing to the shutdown strike called by various organisations representing farmers, traders, transporters and others.

The general strike called by different organisations demanded Cauvery river water and protested against attacks on Tamils and their property in Karnataka. Several buses and trucks from Tamil Nadu were burnt to ashes by the hooligans in Karnataka over Supreme Court's order to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu couple of days back. There were incidents of Tamil Nadu truck drivers humiliated and assaulted by the demonstrators in Karnataka.

DMK leader Kanimozhi, and MK Stalin who were protesting along with other party workers over Cauvery water dispute row were detained by police.

Meanwhile, the shut down strike is on in a peaceful way with no untoward incident being reported while the normally crowded places like bus stands, commercial centres and roads wore a deserted look. Large number of policemen were deployed outside bus stands, railway stations and other places. While government owned public transports, government offices, schools, colleges, banks and others carried on with their routine, majority of shops remained closed across the state.

As those who had given the bandh call have said a series of protests, including "road and rail roko", will be held, thousands of police personnel have been deployed across the state to maintain law and order.


Many private schools also declared holiday while majority of auto-rickshaws, taxis and private buses remained off the roads. The vegetable wholesale market in Koyambedu here was closed. Cadres of some political parties who were trying to stop trains at some places, were taken into custody by the police.

The bandh has been called in protest against the violence targeting Tamils in Karnataka and also to seek Cauvery water for the state.

Thousands of police personnel, including armed reserve forces, have been deployed in Tamil Nadu and in Chennai over 15,000 policemen are on duty.

However, essentials like milk delivery by the state government undertaking -- Aavin was not affected while supplies by private dairies were affected. Privately owned fuel outlets remained shut but those owned by the oil marketing companies were functioning.

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