Hoax hartal call for Kathua rape and murder turns real; hits normal life in Kerala

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 18, 2018 13:53 hrs
Hoax hartal call in Kerala turns real

Thiruvananthapuram: Shops were shut down and vehicles were stopped in parts of Kerala in the name of a hartal on Monday morning against the rape of an eight-year-old in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir.

The hartal, which was called for by social media groups, has hit normal life in the northern districts of Kerala. In Kasaragode, services of the Kerala Road Transport Corporation were affected.

Messages posted on Facebook and WhatsApp said a hartal will be observed on Monday to express outrage over the recent gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir.

In districts like Kasaragode, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Palakkad, supporters of the hartal stopped vehicles at several places and forcefully shut down shops.

Stones were hurled at the marketplaces of Kottakkakam and Chalai in Thiruvananthapuram, and shop owners were forced to down their shutters.

A KSRTC bus driver was injured after stones were pelted against the bus near Vidyanagar in Kasaragod.

KSRTC buses have halted service in various parts in northern districts. Shops were closed down.

Police resorted to lathi-charge on protesters in Kannur. 15 protesters were taken into police custody after which hartal supporters entered the Kannur Town police station where the protesters were taken.Then the police resorted to lathi-charge.

The public, however, who were unaware of the hartal call, began the day as usual. Several supporters of the hartal took out a march in Thiruvananthapuram and districts in north Kerala.

Actor Parvathy, in an Instagram live, also alerted people. “Protests have been taking places near Kozhikode airport at Chemmad, Chettipidi, Tanur… roads are being blocked. In fact there are not protests, but abuse. In the name of protest against the rape the vehicle of many passengers are being blocked and they are being abused,” she said.

On Sunday, the state joined the nationwide protest demanding justice against the heinous crimes that took place at Kathua and Unnao.

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