A hartal called by a social media collective of youngsters to protest against the brutal rape and killing of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir has made an unexpected impact in the district on Monday.
Shops and business establishments remain closed and public transport vehicles are off the road. However, KSRTC buses and private vehicles are plying.
Police resorted to caning at several places, including Malappuram and Tirur, to disperse the gangs that tried to forcibly impose the hartal. Hartal supporters burned tyres and blocked the roads at several places. A strong police force was deployed across the district.
All political parties have kept themselves away from the hartal. The Indian Union Muslim League issued a statement saying it had nothing to do with the hartal.
However, youth activists belonging to different parties are part of the collective that has imposed the hartal.
Protest marches were taken out by youngsters by holding lit-up candles on Sunday night across the district, condemning the Sangh Parivar for supporting the accused in the rape and killing of the girl.