Strike call on social media throws Kerala out of gear
Disruption was mostly in the Malabar region, where the campaign on social media was intense
Astrike call made through social media in Kerala to protest the gang rape and murder of an 8-yearold in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir recently, roiled life in Kerala yesterday.
The disruption was mostly in the Malabar region, where the campaign over the social media to hold a protest yesterday was also the most intense.
Almost every front-line, traditional media outlet in Kerala had carried the news that yesterday’s strike call was a fake one made by anonymous people on social media, and that there would no shutdown. However, those who took that at face value were put to severe inconvenience in different parts of the state.
One social media commentator even asked, “Is it fake news when ordinary people call for a shutdown over the ghastly gang rape and murder of an innocent girl child, and true only when political parties call for a shutdown?”
There were incidents of violence in the northern districts, including Kannur, Kasaragod, Kozhikode and Malappuram.
Clash with police
In a stone-pelting incident at a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus in Kasaragod district, the driver was injured. The KSRTC then halted services for the day.
In Kannur, supporters of the shutdown clashed with police, who in turn resorted to a cane charge. Many shops in the district remained closed or were forcibly shut.
In Malappuram district, police had to disperse supporters. Vehicles were stopped in different parts of the district including Kottakkal and Thalappara. In Parappanangadi, some protesters made a bonfire of automobile tyres, disrupting traffic.
In Kozhikode and Palakkad districts, too, protesters forced closure of shops and disrupted vehicular traffic. In the central and southern parts of the state, protests were witnessed in Kochi, Muvattupuzha, Alappuzha and Kollam.
The prime accused in the Kathua rape and murder case, Sanji Ram (right) and other accused being produced in Kathua district court, about 85km from Jammu yesterday.