Scattered violence in Kerala over Sabarimala, trade union strike hits life across state
Though Left leaders claimed that they would not enforce the strike, in many areas, it turned into a forced shutdown. Besides road transport, train services were also affected in many parts of the state. Many people were seen stranded outside bus terminals, railway stations and airportsUpdated: Jan 08, 2019 19:38 IST
Stray incidents of violence over the Sabarimala row were reported from north Kerala on Tuesday even as the two-day general strike called by various trade unions against the Centre’s labour policies crippled normal life in the state.
Crude bombs were thrown at the houses of BJP and CPI(M) leaders in the early hours in Koyilandi in Kozhikkode as part of the continuing violence over the Sabarimala issue and the administration has called a peace meeting.
A Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) worker was stabbed in Mancheri in Malappuram district, police said. Sustaining serious injuries, he was rushed to the Kozhikkode Medical College Hospital. The RSS alleged workers of the Social Democratic Front of India, political wing of the fundamentalist Popular Front of India, were behind the attack.
The area has been witnessing sporadic incidents of violence after the shutdown called by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi on last Thursday.
The state had witnessed violence since the shutdown called after two women of reproductive age entered the hill temple and police have arrested more than 7000 people. The Centre and the CPI(M)-led state government had traded charges over the crackdown on protestors.
Police said the house of CPI(M) leader P Shiju came under attack and within hours, BJP leader K V Mukundan’s house was targeted. In both cases, no one was injured but the attack and its immediate retaliation showed preparedness of rival party cadres, said a senior police officer.
As stray incidents of violence continued in north Kerala, police have intensified searches for crude bombs and weapons. During one raid, 20-odd steel bombs were recovered from Kolavalur in Kannur district on Monday.
The trade union strike affected transport services across the state.
Though Left leaders claimed that they would not enforce the strike, in many areas, it turned into a forced shutdown. Besides road transport, train services were also affected in many parts of the state. Many people were seen stranded outside bus terminals, railway stations and airports. Many long-distance trains were running late and in the state capital, agitating employees have erected huge tents outside the secretariat, even blocking private vehicles.
Besides tourists, patients also faced a tough time in several places as taxis, autos and private vehicles were off the roads. In Manjeri in Malappuram, protestors and traders clashed after the former forced closure of shops.
The CPI (M)-affiliated Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader A Aanandan said the shutdown was complete and it really showed pent-up anger of the workforce.
The strike came amid the Kerala High Court ruling on Monday that t no shutdown will take place without seven- day notice as it heard a petition against recurring work disruption.
First Published: Jan 08, 2019 19:01 IST