BJP calls hartal in protest against the death of a Hindu Aikya Vedi activist

A tense situation prevailed in rural areas of the district on Friday following a dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Bharatiya Janata Party at Koyilandy and Vadakara taluks in protest against the death of a Hindu Aikya Vedi (HAV) activist on Thursday night.

Vellalippil Anoop, 29, of Nittoor in Kuttiyadi grama panchayat succumbed to injuries at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital at 9.30 p.m.

He sustained serious head injuries when a mob reportedly owing allegiance to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) threw stones and crude bombs while he was taking part in a sit-in organised by the HAV demanding implementation of the Gadgil committee report on the Western Ghats at Naripetta on Monday evening. The victim was also a Theyyam artiste. The police took precautionary measures when his body was brought from the hospital to his house at Nittoor. Hartal was total at Kuttiyadi, Thottilpalam, Kakkad, Mokeri, Ambalakulangara and Kuttali.

Shops and commercial establishments remained closed at Vadakara and Koyilandy. Private buses kept off the road. Protesters threw stones at the CPI(M) office at Koyilandy in the morning shattering glass panes of a window. The police were deployed in strength at politically sensitive regions.

The unexpected hartal caught school and college students unawares. Many had to return home though it was the last day before the Christmas vacation.

The protesters demanded closure of shops that opened in the morning. Taxis and autos were asked to vacate their parking spaces.

Normal life hit

Hartal was total in places such as Perambra. Private buses were stopped from starting operations. Many were stranded at the bus station for long hours.

Normal life was hit at Vanimel, Vilangad and Valayam. The Vyparai Vyavasai Samiti also observed a hartal in these regions in protest against an attack by a masked team on merchants’ leaders.

Merchants’ plea

Merchants had been urging the government to settle an ongoing tussle between the CPI(M) and Indian Union Muslim League at Vanimel. Many shops were attacked following the fracas between the political parties on Wednesday and Thursday.

The sudden bursting of a firecracker near a village office on the Purameri- Kunigad road at Nadapuram at 7.30 a.m. created a tense situation.

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