THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The hartal organised by the dalit outfits is near total in the state; The hartal evoked mixed response. Though large scale violence was not reported, there were several instances of stone pelting and forceful closure of shops in several districts.
In Thiruvananthapuram, private vehicles plied their service. A KSRTC bus was blocked by the hartal supporters near Manacaud and the passengers were forced to alight. Shops were opened and private vehicles were allowed to ply in the rural areas, but there were reports of forceful downing of shutters in certain pockets of Thiruvananthapuram city.
The KSRTC services were also hit as services from Thampanoor central depot were mostly suspended. The long-distance buses operating from Thampanoor were also suspended. Some of the long-distance buses operated by KSRTC were forced to suspend their services at Kollam.
The police on Sunday had announced that they would provide security to the bus services after the KSRC officials sought police protection. However, the passengers who were stranded at various bus stands expressed their anger as bus services were few and far between.
In Palakkad, Alappuzha and Nilambur, hartal supporters were arrested for obstructing traffic. In Kochi, dalit leader M Geethanandan was taken into custody for alleged obstruction of traffic.
Stone pelting incidents on buses were reported from Valappad in Thrissur and Sasthamkotta in Kollam. In central Kerala, private buses largely remained off the road.
In Pathanamthitta, private water supplying tanker lorries were blocked.