/Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dawn-to-dusk hartal organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Hindu organisations caused considerable difficulties to the general public on Thursday.

Private buses, autorishaws and taxis did not ply, putting commuters to hardship. Some people, however, used their cars and two-wheelers to go to officers and other places. The State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) ran some services in Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Alappuzha, Kochi and elsewhere.

Train services operated normally.

Injured

A bus passenger was inured in stone throwing at Chathannur in Kollam district. KSRTC services in Thiruvananthapuram were discontinued after hartal supporters hurled stones at them. Private vehicles also came under attack in Kozhikode and at some places in the State.

Sixteen VHP activists were arrested at Mannarkkad in Palakkad district for trying to block a bus.

Most of the shops and business establishments remained closed except in some pockets of southern districts and Malappuram.

The hartal was near-total in other districts.

At one place in Palakkad, traders and BJP supporters clashed when the latter tried to force the closure of shops. Tourist taxi drivers took out a protest demonstration in Kochi saying that frequent hartals had affected tourist arrivals.

Attendance was thin in many government offices. Educational institutions could not function on account of disruption of transport services.

Examinations and public functions were postponed.

Spate of hartals

Thursday’s hartal was the fourth this month if one took local-level hartals also into account.

A concurrent hartal had been called by the CPI (M) in Kodungallur in Thrissur district on Thursday over the killing of a DYFI worker.

The total number of local and State-wide hartals so far this year exceeded 50.

The KSRTC and other transport operators suffered considerable losses on account of these hartals.

Traders and other self employed persons and workers also lost their earnings.

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