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PFI hartal in Kerala: Incidents of stone-pelting in several districts


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state-wide dawn-to-dusk hartal announced by the Popular Front of India (PFI) in protest against the arrest of its leaders by the NIA has evoked mixed responses as sporadic incidents of stone-pelting were reported across the state.

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Incidents of stone-pelting at vehicles were reported from Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Palakkad and Kannur districts.

Mostly, KSRTC buses bore the brunt of the hartal supporters. Glasses of a KSRTC bus were damaged in an attack on a KSRTC bus at Attakulangara. At Pandalam in Pathanamthitta, stones were hurled at another KSRTC bus.

In Kozhikode also two incidents of stone-pelting on KSRTC buses were reported in which one of the bus drivers sustained injuries. In Uliyil in Kannur, a petrol bomb was reportedly hurled at a two-wheeler. Stone-pelting against KSRTC buses was reported from Valanjavazhi in Alappuzha and Lakkidi Mangalam in Palakkad also.

At Pallimukku in Kollam, two police officers sustained injuries after their bike was hit by another two-wheeler ridden by the hartal supporters. In Kottayam, the PFI workers had to be lathi-charged at Erattupetta for blocking the roads.

Shops mostly remained shut in the state, while incidents of forceful closure of shops were reported from various parts. In Pothencode, the hartal supporters were taken into custody by the police for forcing a shop owner to down the shutters of his shop.

The PFI had called for the hartal in protest against the arrest of their senior national and state leaders by the NIA during an early-morning swoop down on Thursday.

About 25 leaders were detained and 19 were arrested in two cases. The PFI state leadership maintained that the RSS-controlled central government was using the investigation agencies to stifle opposing voices.

3 Days ago