Ration dealers in Vadakara here ended their week-long strike in protest against the move of the taluk authorities to conduct raids on ration shops.
The decision to end the strike was taken after a high-level meeting on Saturday
The public distribution system (PDS) had reached a point of crisis with the stand-off between the authorities and ration dealers, upset with an official decision to go ahead with police raids on their shops.
The meeting called on Saturday was attended by MLAs C.K. Nanu, E.K. Vijayan and K.K. Lathika; Vadakara tehsildar Janin Kumar; leaders of the Ration Dealers Association; and panchayat members.
A common ground was reached after both sides agreed to place before the government’s consideration two demands raised by the dealers — first, not to go ahead with the police raids and, second, for a hike in the dealers’ commission.
Meanwhile, the meeting was initially disrupted by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activists who took out a march into the mini civil station conference hall, raising slogans against the paralysis in the PDS system following the ration dealers’ strike. The police resorted to lathicharge after the demonstration turned violent. Several DYFI leaders, including the Vadakara and Onchiyam block secretaries, were hurt in the lathi charge and ensuing stone-throwing by the demonstrators.
Four policemen were injured. The violence ended with the intervention of the MLAs.