Anti-CAA protest: Hartal largely peaceful, 278 arrestedtext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: The dawn-to-dusk statewide shutdown called by around 33 organisations to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 in Kerala on Tuesday, was by and large peaceful even as the police arrested 278 people while taking another 184 into preventive custody from various parts of the state.
However, at a few places in the state protesters turned violent stoning public transport buses and forcing shops to down their shutters. Attendance at government and private offices was also reported to be low.
State Police chief Loknath Behra had said on Monday that the police will take strong action against law breakers and it happened with 278 arrests and 184 people being taken into preventive custody .
While shutdowns in Kerala have always been a regular feature, this is the first time that the police has acted tough.
Since the shutdown was called by the smaller political parties who do not have any representation in the Kerala Assembly, contrary to shutdowns in the state, it did not have a pan-Kerala effect with most of the shops open and public vehicles plying as usual in several towns and other areas.
But in districts like Kannur, Kasargode, Palakkad and parts of Ernakulam, the protesters blocked public transport and forced shops to shut.
In the affected districts, it was mostly private vehicles that were seen on the roads.
However in the state's capital city normal life was not affected, but stray cases of stoning of buses were reported.
Among the political parties which gave the call for the shutdown are the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the Welfare Party, sources said.