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Hartal near total in Thrissur General strike near-total, peaceful

Staff Reporter

Stray incidents of violence in Thrissur, Kottayam, Alappuzha



PEACE ZONE: Pigeons seem to have had a field day at the usually crowded Rice Bazaar area in Thrissur city on Tuesday, as the shops remained closed on account of the general strike called by Left trade unions.

THRISSUR: The 24-hour hartal called by Left trade unions on Tuesday was near total in Thrissur. The shops and commercial establishments remained closed, and the government offices functioned with only thin attendance. The private line buses, KSRTC buses and most of the taxis and autorikshaws remained off the road. Some private cars and jeeps and a large number of two-wheelers were seen plying.

Barring some stray stone-throwing incidents there were not any reports of violence from anywhere in the district. The hartal supporters had reportedly pelted some stones at a private non-banking finance company at Vadanappilli.

The call given by the leaders of the traders' organisation to keep the shops open on the hartal day did not seem to have evoked any significant impact. In Cherpu some of the traders did open the shops in the morning, but most of them closed when the activists demanded closure. However, the local leader of the trade body kept his shop open and this led to a tense atmosphere at Cherpu with the hartal supporters holding a sit-in in front of his shop. But they dispersed when the police intervened and he kept his shop open till afternoon.

Ailing man dead

There were reports that a 52-year-old ailing man from Arimbur, near the city, died as he could not be taken to the hospital on the hartal day for want of vehicles. According to the people of the area, Kalipparambil Unnicheckan, a quarry worker, was suffering from fever and chest pain in the morning. He was then taken to the nearby Government health centre at Kanjani, but the doctor there referred him to the Jubilee Mission Medical College Hospital in the city as his condition was very bad. But his son could not get any taxi to take his father to the hospital. Finally, he borrowed a bike from his friend, and they together took the patient to the hospital. However, the patient died before getting admitted to the hospital.

Staff Reporter writes from Kottayam: The Opposition-sponsored general strike was total and barring minor incidents, peaceful in the district. According to the police, offices of District Public Prosecutor, Joint RTO, District Registrar and PWD Divisional Office remained closed. The average attendance at Government offices was below ten.

Shops remained closed and vehicles, including private ones, kept off the road. Even two-wheelers could be seen only rarely.

An angry mob taking out protest march at Thalayolapparambu pelted stones at the office of the Service Cooperative Bank. In another incident at Sankranthi, protesters damaged a vehicle belonging to the Mangalam daily. According to the police, 55 persons were placed under preventive arrest in the district.

Staff Reporter writes from Alappuzha: The general strike was peaceful and total in the district except for a stray incidence of violence at Haripad.

Shops and business establishments remained closed. The public transport system did not function. Even private vehicles were not seen on the road. Education institutions also remained closed in the district.

At Haripad, the strike supporters manhandled two employees of Karthikappally taluk office, S. Ravindranath and D. Ramachandran Pillai when they tried to enter the office.

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