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KSRTC buses stoned, roads blocked during hartal

KSRTC buses stoned, roads blocked during hartal

Thiruvananthapuram: Incidents of stone throwing on state-run KSRTC buses have been reported from various parts of Kerala as the dawn-to-dusk hartal called against the Citizenship Amendment Act and police action on students of Jamia university in Delhi, began on Tuesday.

A group of 30 political outfits have called the hartal from which major political parties, including the ruling CPI(M) and the opposition Congress and IUML are keeping away.

KSRTC, private buses, four wheelers and autorickshaws were seen plying in the state capital, while in north Kerala, especially Kannur and Kozhikode, roads wore a deserted look in the early hours of the stir.

Stone throwing incidents on KSRTC buses have been reported from Peroorkada in the capital city, Palakkad, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Aluva in Kochi.

Demonstrations were also taken out by the hartal supporters in many places.

In Palakkad, around 120 people have been either arrested or taken into preventive custody till 9 am, SP Siva Vikram told PTI.

"Around 50-70 people have been taken into preventive custody so far and the remaining were arrested," he said.

A state owned bus coming from Velankanni in Tamil Nadu was stoned at Walayar at around 3 am, he said.

In Kannur, the activists took out a procession on the National Highway and were arrested and removed by police.

Two women activists, who squatted on the road in Kannur shouted "Inquilab Zindabad" and "Down with CAA", as police removed them.

Referring to police action on Jamia students, they said "those are our children. You should also support us".

Police chased away pro hartal activists in Palakkad as they forcibly tried to close down shops and prevented vehicles from plying.

In Aluva in Kochi, several vehicles were blocked and stones hurled at buses.

A KSRTC bus on its way to Munnar from Thiruvananthapuram was stoned at Perumbavoor in Ernakulam.

School and University examinations scheduled for Tuesday have not been postponed.

Shops and business establishments were open in various places.

State DGP Loknath Behara has made it clear that the hartal was illegal as no prior permission had been taken for its conduct which was necessary as per a High Court direction.

The high court has specifically given a direction that the notice for hartal should be given at least seven days before in order to avoid difficulties to the public.

Action will be taken against the organisers if they forcibly shutdown shops and cause incovenience to the public, he said.

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