Violent incidents are being reported from across the state following the hartal, called by the Popular Front of India in Kerala to protest against the raids carried out across the country by the central agencies led by the National Investigation Agency.
The PFI had called for a dawn to dusk bandh against the alleged “RSS-controlled fascist government’s attempt to silence dissenting voices using the central agencies”. Activists, wearing face coverings, were found even in metro cities attacking people.
A violent mob targeted a number of Kerala state road transport corporation buses in Kollam, Malappuram, Wayanad, Alappuzha, Thrissur, Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram. A number of private vehicles and trucks were also pelted with stones.
A local PFI leader, who was fleeing after pelting stones at a KSRTC bus in Thrissur, was arrested by the police. A 15-year-old girl was injured in Kozhikode, and an auto-rickshaw driver was hurt in the stone pelting allegedly by PFI activists in Kannur.
KSRTC buses were pelted with stones at three places in Thiruvananthapuram. In one incident, stones were pelted on the bus coming from Karakonam to Thiruvananthapuram. The driver informed me that two people on a bike pelted stones. Stones were pelted in front and behind the bus. Fortunately, no passenger was injured.
Another KSRTC bus was pelted with stones on the Kattakkada-Anchutheng route. The attack took place on the bus going from Arumanoor to Poovar. Private vehicles were attacked in Thiruvananthapuram’s Kumari Chanta location. A car on its way to the airport and an auto-rickshaw were vandalized by a mob who pelted stones while chanting slogans.
A lorry driver was seriously injured in stone pelting by hartal supporters at Pushpa Junction in Kozhikode. Driver Jinu Habibullah, a native of Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, was injured. He was admitted to Beach Hospital. A petrol bomb was reportedly hurled at a vehicle which was carrying newspapers for distribution at Narayanpara in Kannur in the morning.
Earlier this morning, police lathi-charged PFI workers in Erattupetta in the Kottayam district after the latter tried to block vehicles passing through the town. Around 100 people were taken into custody and taken to Pala and Erattupetta police stations. Pala DySP Girish P Sarathi is camping at the spot along with a large police force.
With inputs from Asianet