Normal life was affected in Kerala Thursday as the state observed a shutdown on a call given by the opposition CPI-M to protest the arrest of its leader in a murder case.
State-owned as well as private buses were off the road. But two-wheelers and private cars were seen plying in some places.
Most of the offices and shops though remained shut while two units of the central paramilitary forces took over the vantage points in Kannur.
The arrested leader, P. Jayarajan is the CPI-M's Kannur district secretary and a former legislator.
He was held Wednesday for his alleged involvement in the murder of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) worker Abdul Shukoor in February.
Jayarajan has been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days in the Kannur jail.
Soon after his arrest, CPI-M workers went berserk in Kannur and the police faced a tough time preventing them from turning violent.
Their ire was directed towards the IUML and the Congress and more than 20 offices of the two parties in Kannur were attacked.
The government called in central paramilitary forces and in the early hours of Thursday, two units arrived from Coimbatore.
"Today, the central forces will conduct flag marches in and around Kannur and help local police maintain law and order," said an official.
While no major incidents have been reported, CPI-M workers put up road blocks at several places and stopped people who were out on the streets in their vehicles.
"The Technopark IT campus here and the Infopark campus at Kochi is working. We reached offices early and a police convoy escorted the company vehicles," said M. Vasudevan, a Technopark official.
But attendances in state and central government offices was minimal.
Jayarajan's counsel said he will Thursday approach the court for bail for the Marxist leader.