Kerala

Hartal day sees protests, clashes

UDF activists way lay vehicles in Kasaragod on Monday as part of the day long state-wide hartal.

UDF activists way lay vehicles in Kasaragod on Monday as part of the day long state-wide hartal.  

Chennithala accuses government of trying to provoke UDF workers

Incidents of stone-pelting and minor clashes were reported at the dawn-to-dusk Statewide hartal called by the United Democratic Front against the ‘anti-people’ policies of the Union and State governments on Monday.

Shops remained closed in the capital. The KSRTC operated skeletal services with police protection. Educational institutions suspended classes. Employee turnout was low in government offices. Private vehicles and autorickshaws plied in many places.

Hartal supporters blocked vehicles in parts of Kollam such as Kottarakara and Chavara in the presence of the police. Post offices, including the Head Post Office at Chinnakada, were targeted in Kollam district. Tension erupted when District Congress Committee president Bindu Krishna led a group to block vehicles passing through the city.

Youth Congress workers staged a protest before the Pattanakad police station in Alappuzha demanding the release of the workers arrested for blocking vehicles.

UDF workers stoned a KSRTC bus at Palarivattom. A group of workers led by Anwar Sadath, MLA, laid siege to buses at the Aluva bus stand. The hartal evoked partial response in Idukki.

The hartal was near-total in Thrissur. Sporadic incidents of violence were reported. Workers led by Kannur DCC president Satheesan Pacheni forcefully closed down shops and banks. UDF workers blocked vehicles at Elapully in Palakkad.

Normal life was paralysed in Kasaragod, from where stray incidents of violence were reported.

Chennithala’s charge

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of intervening to upset the hartal. He accused the government of trying to provoke UDF workers by using the police and also running KSRTC buses into protest demonstrations. People had accepted the call and voluntarily stayed at home. Though the Vyapari Vyavasyi Ekopana Samithy had said that it would open shops, traders refused. The hartal was a success, he said. Minor incidents were blown out of proportion to create an impression that the hartal was marred by violence. If any Congress member had gone overboard, the party would take action, he said.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:12:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hartal-day-sees-protests-clashes/article19872753.ece

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