Jishnu Prannoy death | Kerala

UDF, BJP hartal cripples life in Kerala

The usually crowded Thampanoor remains deserted due to the UDF-BJP hartal call, in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

The usually crowded Thampanoor remains deserted due to the UDF-BJP hartal call, in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Jishnu Prannoy's mother Mahija was roughed up and arrested on Wednesday

A dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and BJP to protest against Wednesday’s alleged excessive use of force by the police on Mahija, mother of Jishnu Prannoy, an engineering college student who died allegedly after being tortured by his college authorities, crippled life across Kerala on Thursday.

Only private vehicles, mostly two wheelers, were seen plying on the road in most parts of the State. Public transport vehicles were off the roads, serious affecting people travelling by train and other modes of transport.

There were isolated reports of hartal organisers blocking private vehicles. Shops and markets remained closed. Although the Kerala Public Service Commission did not postpone its examinations, various universities postponed theirs. Attendance was also poor in most of the government offices. The UDF and the BJP have exempted Malappuram, where the Lok Sabha by-election campaign is on, from the hartal. Essential services such as power, milk supply and hospitals and festivals have been exempted from the hartal.

Ms. Mahija and her brother, who have alleged police brutality on them, began a fast at the Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram. Ms. Mahija's daugther Avishna too has announced her decision to go on an indefinite fast at their home at Vadakara in Kozhikode district.

Inspector General of Police Manoj Abraham, who was asked by State police chief Loknath Behera to inquire into Wednesday's incidents, is expected to submit a report in the day. Ms. Mahija and her brother, Sreejith, had named two police personnel as having kicked them and hit them without being captured by TV cameras.

Meanwhile, faced with scathing criticism from different quarters, including those who are sympathetic to the LDF and the CPI(M) about repeated instances of police insensitivity and highhandedness, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called meetings of police personnel at the range level to discuss the government's law and order priorities.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 8:24:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/udf-bjp-hartal-cripples-life-in-kerala/article17838296.ece

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