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Shops closed, private buses off roads in Puducherry during bandh for statehood

Shops closed, private buses off roads in Puducherry during bandh for statehood

Most shops and establishments remained closed in Puducherry on Wednesday in response to the call given by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) for a day-long bandh to urge the Centre to grant statehood for the Union Territory.

Secretary of the Puducherry unit of AIADMK (East) A Anbalagan, who gave the call for the shutdown, was taken into custody along with his supporters at his office in the early hours today.

Anbalagan had earlier said that statehood was “absolutely necessary” for Puducherry.

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Privately-owned inter-state and intra-state buses went off the roads while state transport buses operated as usual. The Rajiv Gandhi bus terminal here remained forlorn with private operators not functioning.

Auto-rickshaws and tempo travellers did not ply as well. Hotels and jewellery shops remained shut in and around Puducherry. Vegetable shops and fish vendors suspended their business in most of the areas.

Police were deployed in strength at vantage points. Only two-wheelers could be seen on the main thoroughfares.

Government offices, however, functioned normally.

Police said around 300 people were taken into preventive custody.

While giving the call for a bandh earlier, Anbalagan had said that as a UT, the elected government “was powerless and for each and every proposal relating to development of Puducherry, the elected government was at the mercy of the Centre”.

He had stated that those opposing the bandh were not in favour of statehood for Puducherry.

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