Shops remain closed, public transport keeps off road
A hartal called by the Toll Viruddha Samyuktha Samara Samithy in the district on Thursday to protest against the police lathicharge on Samara Samithy activists was total.
Many activists were injured in the lathicharge when Samara Samithy members, took out a march to the Paliyekkara toll plaza on the Mannuthy-Angamaly stretch of NH 47 on the first anniversary of the agitation against toll collection.
The police arrested 109 activists of the Toll Viruddha Samyuktha Samara Samithy. They were remanded till February 25. In all, 19 people are undergoing treatment at various hospitals.
Shops and other business establishments remained closed in the city, but some of them opened in the suburbs. Most of the organisations in the Samara Samithy supported the agitation.
The hartal hit normal life, affecting the movement of people who depend on public modes of transport. Vehicles, barring two-wheelers and private four-wheelers, kept off the road.
Government offices and banks registered a meagre attendance owing to absence of transport facilities. Educational institutions remained closed.
The B.Tech examination of the Calicut University was postponed. However, the D-Zone festival being held at Sree Kerala Varma College was held without any disruption.
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation operated services. Of the 80 schedules from Thrissur depot, 70 had conducted services. Though hartal was peaceful in most of the places, sporadic incidents of violence were reported from some areas. The hartal supporters pelted stones at three KSRTC buses. Driver of one of the buses was injured in the attack. The police dispersed the agitators.
The Samara Samithy said the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) model of national highway development was not practical in the State. Calling it unscientific, it asked the government to withdraw the decision for toll collection.