Special Correspondent

It was peaceful barring some incidents of stone-throwing

Shops, commercial establishments and markets remained closed in most parts of the StateBuses, autorickshaws and other vehicles did not ply barring some private cars and two-wheelers KSRTC suspended most of its services, which put the travelling public into much difficultyThough trains operated as usual, passengers often got stranded at the railway stations

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The 12-hour hartal called by the State unit of the BJP to protest against hike in prices of petrol and diesel disrupted normal life in the State.

The hartal was generally peaceful barring some incidents of stone throwing.

Shops, commercial establishments and markets remained closed in most part of the State. Buses, autorickshaws and other vehicles did not ply barring some private cars and two-wheelers.

The State Road Transport Corporation suspended most of its services, which put the travelling public into much difficulty. At some places, the Corporation operated services in convoy under police protection. Though trains operated as usual, passengers often got stranded at the railway stations.

Attendance was thin in Government offices including the Secretariat. Schools and the other educational institutions did not function. Functioning of banks was also affected in the absence of the full complement of staff. However, some major organisations such as the Cochin Shipyard, Port Trust and Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Limited functioned with lower number of staff. Cashew and coir sectors and container movement were hit.

The BJP activists had blocked roads at several places from midnight though the hartal was from 6 a.m. The police took some activists into custody for stone throwing.

The party organised protest meeting and demonstrations at various places including Thiruvananthapuram. Workers belonging to the Motor Transport Workers and Engineering Mazdoor Federation affiliated to the BMS struck work demanding withdrawal of the price hike.

BJP claims success

BJP State general secretary P.K. Krishnadas said that the success of the hartal showed that the people did not approve of the price hike. The Government should take this into consideration and withdraw the hike.

Thanking the people for observing the hartal, Mr. Krishnadas said that the party would lead strong agitations if the Government did not heed its demand.

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