THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by UDF to protest against the alleged anti-people policies of the state and Central governments hit normal life in the district. Shops and business establishments remained closed, while public transport was partially hit. According to the police, stray incidents of violence such as stone pelting were reported from some parts of the district.
However, no casualties were reported. KSRTC operated its services and autorickshaws plied as usual and this came as a huge respite for the commuters. But, private buses kept off the road. Meanwhile, people from different organisations who had assembled in front of the Secretariat to stage protests on various issues, created confusion among the commuters. JD(U) leader V Surendran Pillai suffered minor injuries after he fell when the crowd, which had gathered in front of the Secretariat, became restive.
Though Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala promised the right to travel will not be violated, the scene at many places in the district presented a different picture in the morning. Party workers blocked vehicles at major junctions in the district. The unruly party workers were removed by the police deployed at the spot.
Congress workers also blocked KSRTC buses and pelted stones at the vehicles at Poovachal near Kattakada and Aryanad. Some skirmishes were also reported from Palayam, Poovachal, Vellanad, Balaramapuram and Parassala.The situation at Ayurveda junction became tense after a group of party workers came to close Pothy’s retail store. The staff downed the shutters.
The hartal had an adverse effect on the business of traders selling Diwali items. “The hartal has affected sales,” said many traders. Educational institutions remained closed, while government offices saw thin attendance. At Thampanoor, police arranged vehicles to transport stranded passengers from the railway station to their respective destinations. Special police vehicles were also arranged to take people to the Medical College Hospital.
Around 80 percent attendance was recorded at Technopark since vehicles had been arranged to operate in a convoy basis to ferry techies to their offices. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) also ferried its staff on convoy basis.
Party workers blocked vehicles at major junctions in the district. The unruly party workers were removed by the police deployed at the spot. Congress workers also blocked KSRTC buses and pelted stones at the vehicles at Poovachal near Kattakada and Aryanad. Some skirmishes were also reported from Palayam, Poovachal, Vellanad, Balaramapuram and Parassala