The ongoing massive protests in support of jallikattu in Tamil Nadu are all set to intensify with train blockades, worker strikes and continuing student protests state wide.
Chennai will see an almost total shutdown on Friday. Besides the capital, other parts of the state will also see massive protests.
Several thousand youth gathered to protest at Chennai's Marina beach, have witnessed a swelling of support, as more people are expected to arrive.
Associations representing truckers, retailers, private taxi operators, schools, have announced that they will not work on Friday. Auto unions have also joined the shutdown. However, it is unclear if cab aggregators like Ola and Uber will ply on the roads.
MTC buses are expected to be running, but only on certain routes, barring areas like the Marina beach stretch.
The Koyambedu fruit and vegetable market will also be closed.
Most private schools in Chennai have declared a holiday, while colleges in the city are also shut.
Some districts in south Tamil Nadu have also declared a holiday for schools.
State government employees have decided to take out a procession.
The movie industry has cancelled shooting and theatre halls would remain closed on Friday. Malls will also remain shut.
According to reports, pharmacist associations have also joined the shutdown, with pharmacies expected to be shut from 6am to 6pm. However, those attached to hospitals will remain open.
Meanwhile, the DMK has planned a â€˜rail rokoâ€™, which would affect train services in the city and across the state.
What triggered the stir to intensify was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on the demand to promulgate an ordinance enabling the holding of the traditional bull-taming sport citing the matter as sub-judice.
On Thursday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had met Modi in Delhi and urged him to promulgate an ordinance.
While Modi assured support to the state government's steps, he skirted the main demand citing the matter as sub-judice.
"The ban imposed on jallikattu by the Supreme Court came up for discussion. While appreciating the cultural significance of jallikattu, the Prime Minister observed that the matter is presently sub-judice," the Prime Minister's Office said in a series of tweets.
"The Centre would be supportive of steps taken by the State Government," it added.
Panneerselvam said steps will be taken soon.
"The state government will take necessary action in coordination with the central government to hold Jallikattu. The state government's action in relation with Jallikattu would soon be seen," he told reporters in New Delhi.
However, political parties and thousands of the protesting youth in Tamil Nadu were not amused with Modi's response to the Jallikattu ordinance request.
DMK's Working President MK Stalin on Thursday said the party would hold protests on rail tracks across the state.
Stalin, terming the situation in the state as "abnormal', urged Chief Minister Panneerselvam to call an all-party meeting during the day as well as a special assembly sitting on Friday over the festering issue.
The Chief Minister should also convene an all-party meeting, the DMK leader said.
However, Panneerselvam remained silent on Stalin's demands.
Stalin, citing Modi's assurance to Panneerselvam that the Centre will render all assistance to the state government on the Jallikattu issue, stressed that a special assembly sitting can take necessary legal steps for conduct of the ancient sport.
PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss, who was detained in Delhi for protesting outside the Prime Minister's residence, in a statement said his party would hold Jallikattu on Republic Day on January 26 in case the Centre failed to promulgate an ordinance to facilitate the hugely popular sport.
PMK founder S Ramadoss said Modi cannot wash his hands of citing the matter as sub-judice as there is no legal bar on the central government in coming out with an ordinance even when there is a court case.
The Supreme Court in May 2014 banned Jallikattu, saying that bulls cannot be used as performing animals including in bullock-cart races. Since then, people have been urging the central government to take steps to allow the sport.
The common complaint among the protest leaders was that the Supreme Court had insulted Tamil culture by disallowing the traditional sport observed during the harvest festival of Pongal.
In jallikattu, a bull vaulter is expected to hang on to the animal's hump for a stipulated distance or for a minimum of three jumps by the bull.