ACTIVITIES in sections of the country's capital city, Kingston, and several major towns came to a standstill yesterday as several businesses closed their doors, as reports circulated rapidly that Government had signed the extradition request for Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
Coke, the reputed 'don' for Prime Minister Bruce Golding's tough West Kingston constituency, is wanted by the United States for alleged drug trafficking and gun-running charges.
The police, in a statement, urged Jamaicans to be calm but even that could not prevent or calm the fears as the businesses pulled their shutters and thousands of workers rushed to get home early.
"We wish to reassure the public that our officers have been deployed and instructed to report all safety and security related concerns for action as well as to respond quickly and appropriately to public calls for assistance," said a press release from the police high command.
But even then employers, out of caution, sent home workers early, while people rushed to collect their children from school.
"The people them afraid; see it there see them a rush to go home," said one woman who was seen walking along Orange Street in downtown Kingston.
"...People are confused and trying to just reach home," another woman said.
"A pure confusion," said one man, who spoke on behalf of a group gathered at a bus stop -- some with worried looks on their faces and others overheard warning family members on their mobile phones to avoid downtown Kingston.
In Cross Roads, Kingston 5, there was a huge build-up of traffic in the rush by motorists to leave the business district.
Police and members of the military were, however, observed roving the city to prevent any outbreak of violence.