Thiruvananthapuram: Despite promises that private vehicles will not be targeted, the protesters roughed up occupants of around 10 vehicles at Thampanoor during the motor vehicle strike on Friday morning. Several taxis, private cars and autorickshaws were stopped near railway station and drivers were dragged out and slapped. Police managed to save people from serious injuries but they were outnumbered by protestors. They even forcefully freed a protestor who taken into police custody. Thampanoor police has registered a case of unlawful assembly.
Meanwhile KSRTC operated all its regular services and were not targeted by protestors, said executive director (operations) Sharaf Muhammad. However, with most taxis abstaining from service, several tourists, plying to areas such as Kovalam, faced trouble. "We were to reach Kovalam and proceed to Varkala by a taxi by noon. However, owing to strike, we will go only tomorrow. We will have to check in at a hotel at Kovalam which will be an unexpected expense. It has upset the original plan for the week's trip," said Rohit Sinha and family who travelled down to city from Mumbai. All major trade unions, including CITU, INTUC, AITUC, UTUC and STU had joined the protest against Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India's (IRDA) move to raise third party insurance premium of vehicles up to 50 percent. However, BMS did not participate in the strike.