Kerala

Police declare today’s hartal unlawful

SDPI and allied organisations not deterred, to go ahead with strike call

The police have declared as “unlawful” the hartal called by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) on Tuesday.

The SDPI and allied organisations had called the strike under the aegis of the Joint Action Council (JAC) to protest the controversial provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act that “discriminated” against Muslim refugees and migrants aspiring for legal status as Indian nationals.

State Police Chief Loknath Behera said the Supreme Court had ruled that no party could call a general strike without prior notice of seven days. The police have received no such notice from the protesters.

The police were constrained to counter any attempt to create disharmony between groups. Officers would prevent in real-time attempts if any to disrupt life, impede the free movement of citizens, vandalise property, force the closure of shops or upend Government functioning.

The SDPI has found itself isolated with mainstream political parties disowning the hartal call.

The CPI(M), the Congress and the IUML have called the strike a sectarian protest. The immature move would only prove advantageous to the cause of the BJP that muscled the “biased” law through the Parliament at the instance of the RSS.

Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliyar, the general secretary of the All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama, has damned the SDPI as an “extreme” organisation and said his organisation would have no truck with it.

The E. K. Sunni faction and Jamaat-e-Islami to have opposed the hartal.

However, the SDPI-led JAC has decided to push ahead with the strike. M.N. Ravunni, leader of Porattam and a member of the JAC, said in Palakkad the hartal would go ahead as planned.

The JAC has exempted Ranni in Pathanamthitta taluk from the hartal so as not to impede the Sabarimala pilgrimage.

It said hartal supporters would not stop the vehicles of pilgrims bound for Sabarimala.

However, it urged citizens to shun travel, avoid work and boycott educational institutions to express their solidarity with the “black law” that sought to relegate Muslims as second-class citizens and deny citizenship to naturalised migrants and refugees in the name of the Islamic faith.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 1:39:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/police-declare-todays-hartal-unlawful/article30322147.ece

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