Hartal against CAA largely peaceful

Up in arms: Protesters taking out a march as part of the hartal called by various organisations against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the city on Tuesday.

Up in arms: Protesters taking out a march as part of the hartal called by various organisations against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the city on Tuesday.  

KSRTC bus pelted with stones; most shops remain closed; 27 taken into custody

The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by various organisations in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on Tuesday largely passed off peacefully in the district.

A bus belonging to the Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) was pelted with stones around 3 a.m. on Tuesday at Chowara, near Aluva. The police has named five persons in connection with the incident. But no arrests have been made. The ‘Minnal’ bus was going from Ernakulam to Munnar when it was attacked by miscreants.

The police have also taken into custody 27 persons, mostly from Muvattupuzha and Perumbavoor areas, during the hartal hours in connection with various incidents, including some involving attempts to block vehicular traffic. V.P. Pramod Kumar, deputy director at the State Police Media Centre, said that a total of 80 persons were taken into preventive custody in Ernakulam district in view of the day-long hartal. The total preventive arrests across the State was 367.

The city police have registered two cases, one under the Palarivattom police station and another under the Kalamassery police station. However, no arrests have been recorded. The Palarivattom case involved attempts by a group of hartal supporters to force the closure of a shop. In Kalamassery, the case was registered in connection with a group trying to forcefully close a shop that opened in the morning hours.

Pre-Chirstmas vacation examinations at government schools in the district were held as scheduled earlier. Attendance at government offices in the district stood at an average of over 70%.

Operations inside the container transshipment terminal on Vallarpadam Island were normal though there was some disruption in lorry movements on account of the hartal. Industrial units like Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore and Cochin refinery of BPCL operated as usual.

Attendance at the Cochin Special Economic Zone was normal and no untoward incidents or blockade of workers were reported.

Of the nearly 600 schedules by KSRTC in the district, the agency was able to operate more than 450 of the schedules. An official said that both the Pampa and airport services operated as usual without any hindrance.

The number of passengers on some of the routes was less than usual and some schedules were cancelled on account of this, the official added. Services to Kottayam, Muvattupuzha and Thodupuzha operated. An official said that Aluva and Paravoor depots operated some schedules to cater to the needs of students attending examinations in the morning hours. Private buses remained off the roads.

Shops and business establishments mostly remained closed with the exception of smaller units. Broadway saw about 50% of the shops opening for business on Tuesday as usual though bigger establishments saw a shortage of personnel to man the counters, said a spokesman of Kerala Merchant Chamber of Commerce.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 11:43:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/hartal-against-caa-largely-peaceful/article30333561.ece

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