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Hartal disrupts normal life in Kerala

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Hartal Disrupts normal Life in KeralaThiruvananthapuram. The dawn-to-dusk hartal organised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, September 2, in protest against the killing of an RSS worker in Kannur on Monday was near-total in the State.

At several places, buses of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and other vehicles were stoned by hartal supporters. Country bombs were hurled at open shops at a few places in Kannur, but no one was injured seriously. Heavy security was mounted on the district to maintain peace.

Shops and commercial establishments remained closed in most parts of the State, while the KSRTC operated only skeleton services. The KSRTC cancelled services at places where its buses came under attack such as Kattakada and Neyyattinkara, near here. Many passengers were stranded in bus stations and railway stations. Attendance was thin in government offices and private establishments.

Many people were forced to remain in their homes as even private vehicles could not operate freely. In some places in Malabar, roads were totally deserted. Many candidates for PSC tests had a hard time as PSC examinations scheduled for Tuesday were not postponed.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said that no major violence had been reported during the hartal.

Kannur Special correspondent writes: The hartal was total in Kannure istrict with sporadic incidents of violence being reported from some areas.

Large posse of police personnel were deployed in different parts of the district in view of the tension and the funeral procession carrying the body. All shops and other commercial establishments downed their shutters. Barring a few private vehicles, mostly two-wheelers, the roads were deserted.

The house of Vishwa Hindu Parishad district president K.O. Jayakrishnan at Mavilayi came under bomb attack at around 2 p.m.

Two window panes and a two-wheeler parked there were damaged in the attack. The police said the bombs were hurled by a group of men who came on two-wheelers.

Large number of BJP-RSS workers attended the funeral procession carrying the body to the house of the deceased. BJP leaders C.K. Padmanabhan, P.K. Krishnadas and K. Ranjith accompanied the body. BJP leaders K. Surendran and P.C. Mohanan, RSS leaders K.K. Balaranand Valsan Thillankeri were present.

The body was kept at Kannur and Thalassery for public viewing. The body was cremated on a plot owned by the RSS, near Kathirur, in the afternoon. BJP State president V. Muraleedharan was present.

The police said that cases had been registered against eight CPI(M) workers in connection with the murder. The police said the FIR named a CPI(M) worker identified as Vikraman.

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