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

Gulf News - - India - BY AKHEL MATHEW Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

PTI

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.

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