Hartal total, largely peaceful in State

The dawn-to-dusk hartal in Kerala on Monday, expressing solidarity with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s nationwide strike call and backed by the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF), was near-total but largely peaceful.

Normal life was disrupted with shops and business establishments remaining shut and public transport keeping off the road. Private vehicles plied. Attendance was low in government offices.

Largely peaceful, the 6 a.m.-6 p.m. hartal was also marked by isolated incidents of violence. In Kozhikode, the staff of an Asianet broadband franchise were allegedly manhandled by hartal supporters. Near Pallichal, Thiruvananthapuram, hartal supporters allegedly manhandled the manager of a petrol pump.

The heavy rainfall which lashed several districts on Monday also prompted the public to stay indoors. Across the State, trade unions organised protests demanding the Centre to withdraw the contentious farm laws.

In southern Kerala, the hartal went off peacefully, although stray incidents of vehicles being blocked by protesters were reported in Kollam district.

The hartal was near-total in Thiruvananthapuram. Commercial establishments remained closed. With KSRTC and private buses keeping off the road, the city police operated shuttle trips from the railway station at Thampanoor to the airport, Government Medical College Hospital, and the Regional Cancer Centre.

Shops and establishments remained shut in central Kerala, disrupting normal life. The Ernakulam market and the Thoppumpady fisheries harbour remained virtually closed.

In Idukki, the plantation sector was brought to a standstill with vehicles transporting workers remaining off the road. Tourism activities in Idukki and Alappuzha districts were at a low ebb. Normal life was hit in Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur districts also. MG University had postponed exams scheduled for the day.

In north Kerala, the hartal was total. No untoward incidents were reported in Kannur and Kasaragod districts. In most towns in Palakkad and Malappuram, public transport, including autorickshaws, stayed off the road.

Turnout was low in government offices in Wayanad. Long vehicle queues were seen at the Tholpetty, Madhur and Muthanga check-posts on the Kerala-Karnataka border.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 10:06:12 PM |

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