Stray violence over Sabarimala in Kerala, SBI branch vandalised on strike’s second day
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Stray violence over Sabarimala in Kerala, SBI branch vandalised on strike’s second day

india Updated: Jan 09, 2019 18:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvanthapuram

Indian trade union activists shout slogans as they participate in a demonstration on the second day of a two-day nationwide general strike called by various trade unions in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. The strike has been called against the government's alleged anti-worker policies and unilateral labour reforms. (AP Photo)(AP)

The 48-hour shutdown called by trade unions crippled normal life in Kerala for the second consecutive day on Wednesday even as stray incidents of violence triggered by Sabarimala temple row were reported from parts of north Kerala.

Strike supporters attacked a bank in the state capital and blocked train services in many parts of the state. In many areas, the strike turned into a forced shutdown.

The manager of State Bank of India treasury branch in Thiruvananthapuram, located close to the state secretariat where state leaders were organizing a sit-in protest, said a group of people forcibly entered the bank which was working with skeletal staff and damaged office furniture and equipment and tried to manhandle the people working there. Though a number of policemen were on duty a few yards away, none of them intervened.

“We have identified some of the assailants and they will be booked under non-bailable offences,” a senior police officer said.

The incident came a day after the state government promulgated the Kerala Prevention of Damage to Private and Public Property and Payment of Compensation Ordinance 2019 to prevent damages to the private/public properties during work disruptions. Though tourism industry sought exemption from recurring shutdowns, many popular tour destinations in Alappuzha, Wayanad and Kochi were badly affected.

Violence over the row over entry of two women in their 40s to the Sabarimala temple continued in north Kerala with crude bombs thrown at the houses of a Communist Press of India (Marxist) supporter in the early hours in Perambra in Kozhikkode. A CPI(M) worker was meanwhile arrested for pelting stones at the Sabarimala stir venue in the state capital.

Police also raided the RSS office in Nedumangad in Thiruvananthapuram and allegedly seized some raw material used for making country-made bombs. Police said its raid came after information that district leader P Praveen who was involved in a bomb attack last Thursday was hiding there. But RSS leaders later criticized the raid and said police were foisting wrong cases on them.

First Published: Jan 09, 2019 18:38 IST