Establishments associated with the Congress came under attack on the eve of the CPI(M)-spearheaded hartal in Kasaragod protesting against the arrest of party leader P. Jayarajan.

Congress-sponsored establishments at Pilicode and Pullur near Kanhangad were set on fire allegedly by supporters of the CPI(M) ahead of the hartal, which brought normal life in the district to a grinding halt.

Alleged supporters of the hartal set afire the Congress-run Fine Arts Society at Pilicode near Cheruvathu late Wednesday, Chandera Police told The Hindu adding that property worth lakhs of rupees were gutted.

In Kanhangad, Priyadarshini Arts & Sports Club, another Congress-run institution at Pullur was partially gutted after a group of alleged hartal supporters broke open the front door and set afire the office room. Office furniture and other properties worth about Rs. 45,000 were gutted, police said.

In yet another incident, an Indian Union Muslim League office at the hamlet of Edathode was damaged in stone-pelting allegedly by hartal supporters around 7 p.m. The miscreants fled the scene as police from nearby Parappa reached the spot, Vellarikundu police said.

Isolated incidents of stone pelting on houses were reported in parts of Cheruvathur falling under the Chandera police station.

All modes of road transport were off the roads while traders and business houses, including banks and educational institutions downed shutters, following the hartal call.

The CPI(M) workers and leaders took out processions in various parts of the district including in Kasaragod to protest the arrest of party’s Kannur district secretary Mr. Jayarajan in connection

with the murder of an IUML loyalist at Keezhara in the district in February 2012.

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