‘Hartal’ after social media call
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.