The hartal called by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) on Wednesday in protest against the police attack on MLAs and to demand the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on the solar panel scam brought life to a standstill in the State.
Buses of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and private services kept off the road. Attendance was low in government offices. Business and commercial establishments remained closed. Except two-wheelers, private vehicles did not venture on to the road. Barring certain incidents of attacks on Congress offices and clashes between LDF activists and the police in Alappuzha and Kayamkulam, the hartal passed off peacefully in most parts of the State. Majority of the incidents of violence were reported from Kannur and Kozhikode. Hartal supporters attacked the Congress offices at Keezhara and Keechery in Kannur. The Priyadarsini Club and the K.P. Kunhikannan Memorial at Tillenkeri in the district were targeted. The State Public Service Commission’s decision to conduct interviews and written examinations at the headquarters here and in the district offices drew flak. Candidates had a difficult time making it to the interviews. All universities, including Cochin University of Science and Technology, postponed the examinations scheduled for the day.
A Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus was stoned at Chendamangalam early in the morning. A private vehicle was stoned at Chevayyur. LDF activists took out a march from Muthalakulam. Krishnakumar, a clerk of Tiruvali grama panchayat in Wandoor block, was injured in a scuffle with hartal supporters who tried to close down the office.
Work on the Kochi Metro was disrupted. LDF activists, who took out a march in the city, destroyed flex boards of Congress leaders. Youth Congress and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activists clashed at Madakanath in Thodupuzha.
All India Youth Federation activists took out a march to Government Chief Whip P.C. George’s residence at Chotty in Erattupetta.