Thousands of people have gathered in Chennai (Tamil Nadu state) in recent days to mourn the terminal, age-related illness and death of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party president Muthuvel Karunanidhi. Over 5000 police officers were deployed across Chennai on Tuesday, August 7, in anticipation of related unrest; police reportedly erected barricades outside Kauvery Hospital following the announcement of Karunanidhi's death on Tuesday. One mourning DMK supporter was reported to have attempted self-immolation on Tuesday evening (local time).
The Government of Tamil Nadu has declared Wednesday, August 8, to be a state holiday as part of a seven-day mourning period. Additionally, bus services have been reduced, cinemas have canceled all showings through Wednesday, and shops throughout Chennai have been shuttered. Additional unrest is possible in the near-term as the Tamil Nadu government has prohibited the DMK from burying Karunanidhi's body in the party's preferred location. Transportation disruptions are expected in the coming days as supporters continue to mourn Karunanidhi's death, particularly near Rajaji Hall, where Karunanidhi's body will lay in state.
Muthuvel Karunanidhi served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state five times and was the president of the DMK party. Karunanidhi died on August 7 at Kauvery Hospital in Chennai of age-related illness.
Individuals in Tamil Nadu state, particularly in Chennai, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings as a precaution, and allow for extra time to reach their destinations.
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