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Sporadic violence marks hartal

Special Correspondent

Six injured in stone-throwing in Kollam; vehicular traffic unaffected


KSRTC buses attacked at many places

MLAs stage protest in front of police stations


Thiruvananthapuram: Sporadic violence in several districts marked the United Democratic Front-sponsored hartal on Thursday in protest against the Cabinet decision to advise the Governor against giving sanction to prosecute CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

Shops and business establishments remained closed for most of the day. However, the dawn-to-dusk hartal did not affect vehicular traffic.

In many districts, the hartal did not go according to the script prepared by the UDF leaders who had asserted that the party men would not enforce it. UDF workers enforced the hartal, leading to stone-throwing and stray incidents of violence. Buses of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation came in for frontal attack of the strikers in Kozhikode, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Malappuram.

Six persons were injured in stone-throwing in Kollam, including a six-year-old girl near Karunagapally.

In Alappuzha, Youth Congress workers went on the rampage, with the police taking the District Youth Congress president into custody.

Total in Kannur

The hartal was total in Kannur, the scene of post-election tension, with public and private transport keeping off the road.

Congress MLAs C.P. Mohammed (Pattambi) and Babu Prasad (Haripad) staged demonstrations in front of police stations in their respective localities in protest against the arrest of party workers.

The UDF leaders termed the hartal a big success. Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala, UDF convener P.P. Thankachan, in separate statements, said the hartal was not enforced on the people.

Mr. Chandy claimed that the UDF had adopted an entirely different approach and did not indulge in violence and destruction of public property usually seen during LDF hartals.

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