Thiruvanananthapuram: The statewide flash hartal, called by the Youth Congress on Monday following the killing of two party workers in Kasargod district, turned violent in several parts of the state. The strike also forced the postponement of SSLC and Plus- One model examinations.
Youth Congress activists blocked vehicles and forcibly shut down shops in most districts.
The hartal was called by the Youth Congress through a Facebook post by state president Dean Kuriakose on Monday morning following the murder of two activists in Kasargod late on Sunday night . It hit the people like a bolt from the blue. The shops and commercial establishments in Thiruvananthapuram city were exempted from hartal due to the ongoing Attukal Pongala festival.
Vehicles were blocked and passengers were forced to get off KSRTC buses in many districts. The activists also forced the employees to shut down their establishments and offices though private vehicles were found plying smoothly.
In Thrissur, party workers and the police engaged in a verbal feud during a pro-hartal march on Monday morning. As many as 15 Congress workers, including Congress mandalam president Biju Daniel and Youth Congress Assembly mandalam president Robin Karakkat, were arrested at Kumily.
In Ernakulam, sporadic violence erupted at places like Palluruthy, Thoppu-mpady, Aluva, Angamally and Kalamassery. Activi-sts blocked vehicles, incl-uding private and KSRTC buses, leaving the commuters in the lurch. The workers clashed with the police and entered into an argument with shopkeepers across Ernakulam district when shops were forced to shut down.
In Malappuram district, the office of deputy directorate of education was forced to shut down by a mob while a KSRTC bus passenger in Kollam district was hurt after miscreants pelted stones at the bus. In Kottayam district, the police registered a case against hartal supporters who attacked a showroom damaging the windows pane.
As many as 30 Congress workers were arrested in Idukki and 200 taken into preventive custody. The hartal supporters and the police clashed at Vandi-periyar and three party workers and two police officials were injured.
Youth Congress workers attacked an egg merchant, Aneez, who was on his way to distribute eggs from north Kalamassery market to shops in South Kalamasserry and destr-oyed his products. The police arrested six Youth Congress and Kerala Stu-dents Union activists fr-om KPCC junction, Erna-kulam, and 27 Youth Co-ngress workers at Peru-mbavoor for forcing the closure of South Indian Bank and blocking vehicles....