Two TNSTC buses were stoned by unruly mobs in three different places in the district after spread of rumours on demise of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, here on Monday.
An unidentified group pelted stone at a bus proceeding to Devakottai from Oddanchatram near Dindigul-Palani by pass road on Monday evening. Front panes of the bus were damaged. The bus crew received minor injuries.
The staff said that they had planned to go to Palani from Devakottai. After spread of rumours, they cut short the trip at Oddanchatram and returned to Dindigul. The incident took place while they were returning from Oddanchatram to Dindigul, they added. In another incident, the AIADMK cadres picketed Palani-Dharapuram Highway and pelted stone at a corporation bus.
Thousands of passengers were stranded at Dindigul and Palani central bus stands as the TNSTC and private bus operators suddenly suspended almost all services in the evening.
All corporation buses parked in bays were moved to respective depots within an hour. Passengers were running from one corner to another corner of the bus stand to board mofussil buses. The worst affected were Sabarimala pilgrims and devotees who came to Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy temple in Palani. With no bus service, the pilgrims rushed to Palani railway station. A large number of passengers were waiting in long queues at Dindigul railway station to buy tickets.
Already, the Kerala State Transport Corporation cut short all its services at Kumuli and did not operate buses to Cumbum, Theni and Madurai. The TNSTC too suspended all services to Kerala.
All prime roads in Dindigul city wore a deserted look as all shops and business establishments were closed in the evening. Even autos and private cabs too were off the road. Few autos were plying between the bus stand and the railway station.
Situation was by and large calm in Theni district.