CHOGM boycott: Over 6,000 held for Rail Roko in Madurai

Trains blocked at a few places, but essential services not affected

Cadres owing allegiance to various Tamil political parties who resorted to rail roko agitations across the State were arrested on Tuesday. The protesters were demanding the Government of India to totally boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka.

While essential services, public transport, educational institutions, banks, government and private establishments functioned normally, trains were delayed at several places with slogan-shouting agitators barging into railway stations to stop train services.

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi convener M.H. Jawahirullah, Tamilaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader John Pandian were among those held.

According to police sources, as many as 6,700 persons who resorted to rail roko agitations at 135 places were taken into custody. Most of the train blockades were reported in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Madurai. Around 300 activists who staged demonstrations in almost all districts causing hindrance to road traffic were detained.

All those arrested were released in the evening.

Some shops remained closed. But for an instance of stone throwing on a bakery near Tirupur railway station, no violent incidents were reported from any part of the State, police sources said and added that enhanced security arrangements would continue till early on Wednesday.