City mourns DMK chief’s death, normal life hit

Buses, autorickshaws and taxis were off the road, shopkeepers and almost all commercial and business establishments downed their shutters as a mark of respect to DMK chief M. Karunanidhi who passed away on Tuesday. No untoward incidents were reported in any parts of the district on Wednesday, said the police.

The deployment of police across the district will continue for one more day.

A senior TNSTC official said that bus services could not be operated as employees did not report for the duty. While a few private vehicles and two-wheelers were seen on the roads, autorickshaws were scarce to find. Town and mofussil bus stands wore a deserted look with very a few stranded passengers. Inter-state services to Kerala and Karnataka were also suspended. Coimbatore railway station witnessed moderate rush since morning as buses to other districts and neighbouring states stopped plying.

As almost all commercial and business establishments remained shut, the arterial Mettupalayam Road, Sathyamangalam Road, Avinashi Road, Trichy Road, Pollachi Road and Palakkad Road wore deserted look.

Sources said the day was similar in Mettupalayam, Sulur, Pollachi and Valparai too. A few tea shops remained open, though. Traders selling tea and snacks on bicycles made good business.

In areas filled with labourers and migrant workers, fast food joints and small eateries sold food packets though they had downed their shutters. For those on work and stranded some of the Amma canteens and canteens at major hospitals came in handy.

Retail outlets and commercial establishments Tirupur districts also remained shut on Wednesday. All the micro and small-scale industries also remained closed for the day. In Tirupur, shops at Kadharpet area started closing down Tuesday evening and it was a complete suspension of work at the hosiery units on Wednesday.

Textile mills closer to cities did not operate. However, many of those with migrant workers staying in-house functioned as usual, according to industry sources. Petrol bunks opened later in the evening while the hotels remained shut. Absence of public transportation, resulted in cash registers continuously ringing in for the cab operators.

At several street corners in the city, towns and rural areas, DMK cadre erected DMK chief’s hoardings.

Residents in the city mostly remained indoors, forced in part by the early morning drizzle that continued well till noon. In a couple of places, DMK loyalists tonsured their head to pay homage to Karunanidhi. The declaration of public holiday and overcast sky saw youth take to the nearest ground for a game of cricket.

(With inputs from

M. Soundariya Preetha, Karthik Madhavan and Wilson Thomas)

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