Sporadic incidents of violence were reported in various parts of Kerala on Friday in the dawn -to -dusk hartal called by the Popular Front of India (PFI) in the state in protest against the massive raids conducted by the National Investigation Agency(NIA) and Enforcement Directorate(ED) in its offices and residences of its leaders and the subsequent arrests of its prominent leaders over charges of terror funding and money laundering
Stones were pelted at state government owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses in various districts including Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha.
KSRTC buses borne the brunt the most. The hartal supporters damaged nearly 30 KSRTC buses in the state. Following wide spread stone pelting KSRTC services from many depots were suspended
A petrol bomb was hurled at a vehicle distributing newspapers in Narayanpara, Kannur on Friday early morning.Two KSRTC buses which were plying on the Aluva-Perumbavoor route in Kochi were attacked by the hartal supporters. The protesters stopped buses at Kattakada in Thiruvananthapuram. Attempts were made to stop vehicles at Ayathil in Kollam and Karunagapally during the hartal. Even an ambulance carrying a patient was attacked in Thrissur by hartal supporters
In Kollam’s Pallimukku, a group of protesters hit the policemen on duty with a bike. In Thiruvananthapuram’s Pothencode, a group of 15 agitators vandalised shops.
A KSRTC driver suffered eye injury near Kozhikode Civil Station when stones were hurled at the bus he was driving. He has been taken to the General Hospital. Another KSRTC driver was injured in the stone pelting which took place on the National Highway near Cheruvannur steel complex in Kozhikode. The driver was admitted in a nearby privae hospital. There are allegations that the police remained mute spectators while the violence was taking place
Thee KSRTC Swift bus passengers, including a teenager, injured during stone pelting in Valappatanam, Kannur.In Punniyoorkulam, Thrissur, the glass panes of a lorry transporting fish was damaged in stone pelting. A Bomb was hurled at RSS office in Kannur’s Mattanur allegedly by PFI workers .
A vehicle of a news channel that was reporting the hartal in Kozhikode was also attacked.
Shops mostly remained shut in the state, while incidents of forceful closure of shops were reported from various parts of the state. In Kozhikode, a hotel was vandalised by hartal supporters
At Pothencode in Thiruvananthapuram, the hartal supporters were taken into custody by the police for forcing a shop owner to down the shutters of his shop. Seven PFI workers were taken into preventive custody by police in Kozhikode. As many as 12 persons in Perumpadappu in Trissur have been taken into preventive detention.
At Erattupetta in Kottayam, the police resorted to lathi-charge PFI workers who stopped the vehicles passing through the town. Around hundred PFI workers have been placed under preventive detention here. There was also an attempt to release them from custody.
BJP State President K Surendran came out against the police for its failure to control the violence in the hartal. Slamming the home department in the state for not taking appropriate measures to counter violence in the hartal announced by the PFI, Surendran alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is rewarding the PFI for their help in recent elections in the state