News Column

Bomb-throwing, violence as shutdown brings Kerala to standstill

September 2, 2014

Akhel MathewCorrespondent

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala's economy, already battered by falling commodity prices, liquor bar closures and massive welfare payouts, lost another productive day as the state came to a standstill on Tuesday over the murder of a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker on Monday morning.

Country bomb throwing was reported from three places in Kannur at Aadoor Palam, Moonnuperiya and Peralassery and incidents of stone throwing at buses were reported from different places in the state including Kozhikode and Kochi.

In Punalur, hartal supporters attacked a hotel and in many other places small businesses were targeted and hartal supporters overturned the carts of mobile fruit and fish vendors.

The hartal call was made by the RSS and BJP following the murder of RSS leader K. Manoj at Kathiroor in Kannur district. He was travelling with a friend when unidentified people stopped the vehicle and hacked Manoj to death. The deceased was an accused in a case of launching an attack on Communist Party of India Marxist district secretary P. Jayarajan during the Onam week in 1999.

All schools and higher educational institutions in the state remained closed on Tuesday, fearing the wrath of the hartal supporters. With the BJP in power in the country, the hartal call by the BJP-RSS combine in Kerala was expectedly more effective than in previous years.

Those who had to commute within the state had a torrid time on Tuesday as the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses also stopped plying in most places after the buses were targeted by stone-throwing hartal supporters.

Police vehicles were used to transport people who had emergencies, but scores of passengers were stranded at the bus stations, railway stations and airports.

Police have registered cases against eight suspects in connection with the murder of Manoj. RSS leaders, however, said they were not convinced with the commitment of the police with regard to the investigation, alleging that the officer in charge of the investigation was a sympathiser of the CPM.

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Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

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