Kerala

Hartal hits normal life in Malabar

Missing the buzz: S.M. Street in Kozhikode wears a deserted look on Monday as shops remained closed due to the hartal called by trade unions.  

Barring a few untoward incidents, the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by trade unions and endorsed by the Left Democratic Front and the United Democratic Front to support the nationwide farmers’ strike on Monday was almost peaceful in Kozhikode district.

After barging into the office of a franchise of a broadband internet service provider at noon, hartal supporters intimidated and manhandled the staff, disrupted their functioning and tried to damage equipment and furniture. The Nadakkavu police registered a case and arrested 15 persons. Later, they were released on bail.

In another incident, hartal supporters forcibly closed down a private bank functioning at Vandipetta in the morning and asked the staff to vacate their office. However, no case was registered in connection with the incident.

The hartal, which began at 6 a.m., almost paralysed life in the district. All public transport vehicles, including autorickshaws, taxis and buses, stayed off the road. However, a few private vehicles, especially two-wheelers, could be seen on city roads and on national highways in the morning.

The KSRTC had announced that it would run limited local services with police escort focussing on railway stations and airports. However, many were seen stranded at the Kozhikode railway station. Long -distance bus services resumed operations only in the evening. Most of the private offices, shops, commercial establishments, and banks remained closed. Educational institutions also did not function. The Calicut University had postponed all examinations slated for Monday.

Attendance in government offices was affected. Post offices were opened. Medical stores, milk booths, roadside tea shops and some grocery shops functioned in the morning. The weekly auction at the Agricultural Urban Wholesale Market at Vengeri was postponed to Tuesday.

The otherwise busy Sweet Meat Street and its adjoining commercial streets, Valiyangadi (Big Bazaar) and Halwa bazaar, wore a deserted look. By afternoon, most of the department stores, eateries and restaurants opened. Private cars in large numbers were also seen on the roads even before the hartal ended at 6 p.m.

Extending solidarity with the farmers strike, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) and the Kerala Newspaper Employees Federation organised a protest in front of the Calicut Press Club. Elamaram Kareem and M.K. Raghavan, MPs, and KUWJ State vice president P.V. Kuttan addressed the meeting.

In Wayanad

Normal life was affected by the dawn-to-dusk hartal in Wayanad district. Attendance was very low in government offices and financial institutions. Only nine out of the 138 employees turned up for duty at the Collectorate, Additional District Magistrate N.I. Shaju said. While KSRTC and private buses and taxis stayed off the road, people were seen riding two-wheelers and private vehicles.

Shops and business establishments remained closed in the district as merchants associations had also expressed solidarity with the protest.

A long queue of vehicles was seen at Tholpetty, Madhur and Muthanga check posts on the Kerala-Karnataka border. No untoward incidents were reported in the district, police department sources said.

Hartal supporters took out marches in various part of the district.

In Kannur, Kasaragod

The hartal was total in Kannur and Kasaragod districts.

Shops remained closed and vehicles stayed off road in the districts. No untoward incidents were reported. Most of the government offices registered low attendance. (With inputs from Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod bureaus)


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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 4:26:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hartal-hits-normal-life-in-malabar/article36701482.ece

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