Fasts continue in Tamil Nadu: 12-hour bandh in Puducherry peaceful

Clad in black outfit, AIADMK MLAs on Saturday staged a day-long fast here as protests against party chief J Jayalalithaa's conviction in an illegal assets case continue state-wide with a dawn-to-dusk bandh in the neighbouring union territory of Puducherry passing off peacefully.

Chennai: Clad in black outfit, AIADMK MLAs on Saturday staged a day-long fast here as protests against party chief J Jayalalithaa's conviction in an illegal assets case continue state-wide with a dawn-to-dusk bandh in the neighbouring union territory of Puducherry passing off peacefully.

Cable tv operators suspended services in most districts of the state even as their members went on a one-day fast in the respective districts.

AIADMK MLAs staged the fast at the memorial of party founder M G Ramachandran (MGR) at the Marina here. They held placards supporting Jayalalithaa, convicted and sentenced to four years in prison by a Bangalore special court on Saturday in the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case.

In Puducherry, AIADMK workers, led by unit secretary P Purushothaman MLA, courted arrest when they staged a picketing at the bus stand at Orleanpet.

The other four MLAs were arrested along with around 150 volunteers when they held a picketing in Odiansalai. All of them were released later, police said.

Party supporters, who hailed Jayalalithaa as "People's Chief Minister," observed the fast across the state, including in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore, among others.

AIADMK workers also continued to throng places of religious worship and held prayers and poojas for the release of 'Amma', as Jayalalithaa is addressed by them.

Cable services were suspended in districts other than Chennai, DGNP Sekar, Chief Coordinator of Federation of Cable TV Associations said.

Subscibers had been informed in advance and cable services were not available in districts including Madurai, Kanyakumari, Tiruchirappally, Erode, Coimbatore and others, he told PTI.

Further, representatives of cable TV associations under this banner staged fasts in the respective districts,he added.

Small political outfits supporting AIADMK and advocates owing allegiance to the party were among those who held protests in different parts of the state even as shops were shut in Tirupur.

There was no untoward incident, police said.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Bus Operators Association of Tamil Nadu announced suspension of bus services, with 6,000 vehicles to stay off the roads tomorrow.

Private bus services in all districts excluding Chennai, Nilagiri and Kanyakumari districts will not be operated tomorrow, K Thangaraj, president of the Federation said.

Inter-district and intra-district services besides private buses plying inside towns will not run tomorrow and the operators and staff will also stage statw-wide protests, he added.

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