Two continuous hartal days affect key sectors like tourism, transport and education; LDF activists, policemen injured in violence
People in Alappuzha district bore the brunt of two days of continuous hartal as key sectors, including transport, education and tourism were hit by the strike called by the Left parties in the State.
Two more academic days were lost for schools and colleges in the district that had already been hit by the flood situation in the district. The office-goers and other passengers were struggling to find vehicle services to reach their destinations.
The State Water Transport Department cancelled many of its services, making life difficult for large number of people who live in islands on the Vembanad lake.
There were many cancellations of bookings in hotels and resorts. Other businesses were also hit. The two-day hartal has also taken its toll on the house boat industry, which is already hit by a downturn in business. Kerala House Boat Owners Association president Jomon Konnakappally said the hartal had kept away many customers at a time when the bookings were very low in number. Most of the houseboats were remaining anchored at the finishing point. The two-day hartal has worsened the situation. However, All Kerala House Boat Owners Association general secretary N. Sreekumar refused to blame it on the two-day hartal for the situation. “The downturn had already made many house boats anchor at the terminal. The hartal has not contributed much to the lack of business,” he said.The hartal was near total in the district. A few incidents of violence have been reported from different parts of the district. A total of 10 LDF activists and eight police personnel were injured in various incidents of violence. Two policemen and a home guard were injured when hartal supporters pelted stones at Punnapra. Two CPI (M) workers were also injured.
LDF workers attacked the Congress office in Kayamkulam during a protest march. The police lathicharged the workers and CPI (M) district committee member P.Ganakumar and CPI Kayamkulam constituency committee secretary A.A.Rehim were injured. They were admitted to a government hospital..
CPI (M) district secretary C.B. Chandrababu alleged that the police had beaten up LDF activists in many parts of the district. Police lathicharged CPI (M) workers who were inside the Punnapra East Local Committee office, he said. While the hartal on Tuesday was called to protest against the attack on AIYF State president G.Krishnaprasad in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, Wednesday’s State-wide hartal was called by the LDF demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy following new revelations were made by a complainant in the solar case.