KSRTC Buses Stoned, Protest Marches Turn Violent During Hartal in Kerala
Political parties belonging to the ruling CPI(M)-LDF and opposition Congress-UDF are keeping away from the hartal.
Photo for representation.
Thiruvananthapuram: Stones were hurled at KSRTC buses in several places, shops forcibly closed and protest marches held in support of the dawn-to-dusk hartal on Tuesday turned violent as police took into preventive arrest over 200 people as a precautionary measure.
The hartal is being organised by a group of 30 Islamic and political outfits against the amended Citizenship Act and police action against Jamila Milia Islamia students in Delhi.
Political parties belonging to the ruling CPI(M)-LDF and opposition Congress-UDF are keeping away from the hartal being held a day after the the two rival fronts organised a joint protest at Martyr's column against the law.
A march taken out by the pro hartal activists at the state capital turned violent as they pelted shops with stones, injuring a passer-by.
Police had to use water canon multiple times when hundreds of agitators, who marched towards the office of Accountant General (AG) near the Secretariat here, tried to jump the barricade.
Despite repeated requests by police to disperse, the protesters, including women, squatted on the road raising slogans against the CAA and the union government.
The protesters also blocked the road and forced shops to down shutters as they began the march from Attakulangara in the morning, local eye witnesses said.
According to police, the preventive arrest of 233 people have been registered in connection with the hartal till 11 am across the state.
Of them, 55 were arrested in Ernakulam rural area while 51 from Thrissur, an official statement here said.
Besides the state capital, widespread stone pelting on state-run KSRTC buses has been reported across the state especially in the districts of Kollam, Palakkad, Ernakulam, Wayanad, Kozhiode and Kannur.
A state owned bus coming from Velankanni in Tamil Nadu was stoned at Walayar at around 3 am, Palakkad SP Siva Vikram told PTI.
The agitation affected the state's business hub, Kochi with most of the shops and business establishments remaining shut.
Protest marches were also taken out by the hartal supporters in many places, including Kochi, Kannur and Palakkad.
In some places, women with children in their arms, were seen participating in the march.
School and University examinations scheduled for Tuesday have not been postponed. Shops and business establishments were open in several parts of the state.
Students of the College of Engineering here protested and boycotted examinations as many could not reach the college on time.
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