Vehicles damaged, violence reported; Kerala HC takes suo motu case against PFI hartal: Key points | India News

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NEW DELHI: Kerala on Friday witnessed sporadic cases of violence during the statewide 12hour-long hartal called by Popular Front of India (PFI). Shops and vehicles were damaged as PFI supporters protested against the raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the offices and residences of its leaders and their subsequent arrests the previous day for allegedly supporting terror activities. Cases of stone pelting were also reported from the southern state.
The NIA on Thursday arrested 106 activists of the PFI in 11 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country. In a statement, the PFI state committee declared hartal and said that it considered the NIA’s arrest of PFI national and state leaders ‘unjust’ and ‘part of atrocities by the state’. “A hartal will be held in the state on September 23, Friday, against the RSS-controlled fascist government’s move to use central agencies to silence dissenting voices,” it said.
Here are the latest developments:

  1. Protesters took out marches, blocked vehicles and forcefully downed the shutters of shops in various places of Kerala.
  2. A petrol bomb was hurled at the RSS office in Mattannur, Kannur. A two-member group reached on a scooter, threw the petrol bomb, and broke the window panes.
  3. Some freight lorries, on their way from Mangaluru, were stopped on the national highway in Kannur with their keys snatched away, causing blocked traffic in the area. Besides police personnel, some bus and lorry drivers and commuters suffered injuries in stone pelting and other related incidents.
  4. In Erattupetta town of Kottayam district, police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse protesters gathered in large numbers, who were allegedly trying to block vehicles and forcefully pulling down the shutters of shops that were open.
  5. Two police personnel were allegedly hit by a protester on a bike when they tried to stop him from blocking the commuters’ way at Pallimukku in Kollam. Though he managed to escape from the spot, the police claimed that they were searching for him.
  6. In Kottayam’s Sankranthi Kavala, a lottery shop that was kept open was allegedly destroyed by protesters.
  7. Stones were pelted at Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses (KSRTC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Alappuzha.
  8. A group of PFI activists were beaten up by local people when they tried to forcefully down the shutters of shops in Kannur. Angry local people reacted strongly when the protesters asked them to close the shops, beat them up and handed one of them to the police at the Central Bazar in Payyannur.
  9. A 15-year-old girl and an auto-rickshaw driver reportedly suffered minor injuries during stone pelting in Kozhikode and Kannur respectively.
  10. A lorry driver, who was on his way to Erode in Tamil Nadu, allegedly suffered severe injuries after the hartal supporters hurled stones and broke the glass of his vehicle in Kozhikode. The driver claimed that the vehicle was parked on the roadside when they came and attacked it.
  11. The Kerala High Court took suo motu case against PFI and its state general secretary over declaring hartal in the southern state. The HC also noted that media houses were reporting the news of “flash hartal” without mentioning the details of the order passed by the Court declaring it as illegal the calls for hartal without seven days public notice.
  12. The court also issued directions to the police to ensure adequate measures to prevent any damage or destruction to public and private property of those who do not support the call for hartal.

With inputs from agency

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