‘Har­tal’ af­ter so­cial me­dia call

The Hindu - - SOUTH - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

Youth re­spond­ing to a so­cial me­dia call en­forced a ‘har­tal’ in dif­fer­ent parts of Ker­ala in protest against the Kathua rape and mur­der.

In iso­lated pock­ets, the ‘har­tal’ turned vi­o­lent, prompt­ing the po­lice to de­clare pro­hibitory or­ders in places such as Ta­nur, Tirur and Parap­panan­gadi in Malap­pu­ram. Parts of Palakkad also wit­nessed at­tempts by the ‘har­tal’ sup­port­ers to force clo­sure of shops. Ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties came out against the ‘har­tal’, but it af­fected trav­ellers when KSRTC buses came under stone­pelt­ing and traders downed shut­ters.

A se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer said the ‘har­tal’ was any­thing but im­promptu. Two po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions sus­pected of hav­ing a rad­i­cal edge had planned and ex­e­cuted the ac­tion. How­ever, its or­gan­is­ers chose to re­main be­hind the scenes.

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