The dawn-to-dusk Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hartal in Kasargod turned violent on Tuesday, after BJP workers tried to forcefully shut down co-operative banks in the district.
Party workers clashed with the police who in turn retaliated with lathi-charge and used tear-gas, as protestors tried to forcefully shut down the Deshabhimani -CPI(M) mouthpiece- office in the traditional Leftist stronghold.
The BJP in Kerala had called for the hartal after senior BJP and RSS leaders were arrested at Cheruvathur on Monday, while carrying out a national highway blockade in protest against continued Left attacks on its party cadres.
As the hartal progressed, the saffron supporters were seen pelting stones at CPI(M) local party offices and district cooperative banks in the area, while tearing down as many communist flags they could lay their hands on.
Cheruvathoor had recently witnessed the latest clash as Left sympathizers reportedly attacked Sangh Parivar workers who were on their way back from the â€˜Swathanthra Samrakshana Padayathtraâ€™ meeting held at Cheemeni.
Kasargod district president K Sreekanth, state council member Raveesha Thantri Kundar, party joint secretary K Velayudhan, senior BJP leader K Surendran and RSS activist Valsan Thillankeri were among those arrested by the police on Monday.
District police officials did not respond to repeated calls from TNM and were unavailable for comment.