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Strike total in Kottayam

Special Correspondent
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Shops closed; no major incidents of violence reported

P. K. Mohammed Iqbal, manager, District Industries Centre, Kottayam, at his office after strike supporters threw used engine oil into the office on Thursday.
P. K. Mohammed Iqbal, manager, District Industries Centre, Kottayam, at his office after strike supporters threw used engine oil into the office on Thursday.

The strike called by the central trade unions was total and barring a few incidents, peaceful in the district. According to the police, three cases have been registered in connection with strike-related violence.

Miscreants threw used engine oil at the manager at the District Industrial Centre, Nagambadom. The manager P. K. Mohamed Iqbal along with another employee was present in the office. The office furniture and the employees were splashed with the used engine oil. Kottayam (East) police have registered a case and have taken at least one person in custody in connection with the case.

In Pampady, the police have registered case against seven ‘identifiable’ persons for alleged attack on the employees of the Agriculture Office. No arrest has been made so far, the police said. According to the Kanjirappally police, they have registered a case against 20 persons when strike supporters tried to disrupt the functioning of the outlet of the Supplyco at Kanjirappally and lay siege to its manager.

Official sources put the attendance at government offices at 39.89 per cent slightly lower than Wednesday’s 40 per cent.

Peaceful in Alappuzha

Our Staff Reporter writes from Alappuzha: The two-day general strike called by the trade unions was total and peaceful in the district. Alappuzha town came to a standstill as shops and other business establishments downed their shutters. Only two-wheelers were seen on the road. Only a few private cars ventured out. KSRTC and private buses did not operate for the second day today. The boats of the State Water Transport Department also did not operate.

Government offices operated with thin attendance, while education institutions did not function.

Police vehicles transported those who alighted at the Alappuzha railway stations to their destinations. The houseboat industry was the worst hit as sources estimated at least Rs 3 crore loss in the strike. Kerala Houseboat Owners Association president, Jomon Konnakapally demanded that tourism industry, including houseboat industry, should be exempted from hartals and general strikes.

The trade union members alleged that their march in the morning was attacked by anti-social elements. A protest march was taken out from Valiyakulam to Pulayanvazhi market junction in the town in the evening, which was followed by a meeting.

In Idukki

A Correspondent writes from Kattappana: The 48-hour general strike was total in Idukki district and free of any major incidents of violence.

Life came to a standstill as educational institutions, shops and business establishments, banks and private offices did not function on the second day on Thursday.

Even private vehicles, except for a few two-wheelers, kept off the road. Work in the tea and cardamom estates was also affected as workers including daily labourers from Tamil Nadu did not turn up. The Kanjar police said that a case has been registered for an attempt to attack the Assistant Educational Officer at his office in Arakulam.

The Pampadumpara police said that the strike supporters forcibly entered into the office of the Indian Cardamom Research Institute at Pampadumpara and tried to hinder the works.

Of the 118 staff at the District Collectorate at Painavu, 42 attended duty. The tourism town of Thekkady and Munnar wore a deserted look and tourists mostly remained indoors. At Kumily, vehicles from Tamil Nadu conducted services till the border.

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