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Tamil Nadu limps back to normalcy after Jayalalithaa's sentencing in graft case

Chennai: Normalcy was today returning to Tamil Nadu, a day after sporadic violence erupted in several parts of the state in the wake of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's conviction in the disproportionate assets case.

Bus services, suspended in many parts of the state, were being resumed in a phased manner while commercial establishments, including hotels and shops, were open in Chennai and elsewhere.

Police said no major untoward incident was reported in the state today, which saw angry protesters forcing closure of shops, pelting stones and torching of vehicles in some places yesterday prompting the Union Home Ministry to ask the state government to maintain law and order.

However, inter-state bus services to Bangalore remained suspended.

A Madurai report said normalcy returned to the temple town and most parts of ten southern districts, where the AIADMK has a strong base.

Police said bus services had been resumed in most places of the southern districts and no untoward incident had been reported so far.

Police had been posted at vulnerable places and patrol had been increased to monitor the situation in and and around the city and rural areas.

However, in some towns, including Sivaganga, only 50 per cent of the bus services had been resumed, and shops in some places remained closed.

Though the situation was tense, it was under control, police said and expressed hope of full normalcy by late evening.

Reports from Theni, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar said normalcy had returned in most of the places though the shops remained closed in a few localities. In Srirangam, the assembly constituency of Jayalalithaa, shops were opened from this morning. However, private bus operators were hesitating to operate their service while autorickshaws too remained off the roads in most parts of the town.

In pilgrim town of Rameswaram, bus services from the island to other places remained suspended.

In Theni, transport department officials said they would operate buses once clearance was given by the police.

In neighbouring union territory of Puducherry, state-run buses to Tamil Nadu plied as usual while private operators kept off the roads.

The violence in Tamil Nadu hit week-end tourists flow to Puducherry which presented a deserted look although shops and hotels were open.

Police pickets had been posted at all vantage points and traffic junctions.

Jayalalithaa was handed down four year simple prison term and Rs 100 crore fine by the special court in Bangalore in a verdict that sent shock waves among AIADMK cadres. Her close associate N Sasikala, her relatives V N Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi, who are the other accused in the case were also given four-year prison term and slapped a fine of Rs 10 crore each.

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