Nearly 100 Kerala RTC buses were damaged following violence over Sabarimala issue in the last two days, with the loss pegged at Rs 3.35 crore.

Dont vandalise me Kerala RTC buses take out procession in Tvm to protest attacksSreekesh R Nair
news Protest Friday, January 04, 2019 - 09:19

The state of Kerala on Thursday witnessed protests by various outfits, mostly violent. But in an incident never seen before in the state, 24 buses of the Kerala RTC with their broken windows were paraded in a symbolic procession on the streets of Thiruvananthapuram. The bus leading the procession carried a banner which read, “I am not responsible for this. Please don’t vandalise me as I’m the source of livelihood for many people.”

Around 100 buses of the Kerala RTC were damaged during protests which erupted in the state on Wednesday and Thursday, with as many as 24 buses being damaged in Thiruvananthapuram alone.

Following the entry of two women, below the age of 50, into the Sabarimala temple, many incidents of violence were reported from different parts of the state after which a hartal was called by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi on Thursday.

And like it happens every other time, one of the main targets of the protesters was the Kerala RTC buses. Windshields and headlights of some of these buses were damaged during stone pelting, which occurred on Wednesday and Thursday.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Kerala RTC CMD Tomin J Thachankary said that the loss incurred by the corporation on Wednesday and Thursday amounts to Rs 3.35 crore. He also said that the total amount of loss incurred by the corporation because of hartals in 2017-18 was more than Rs 10 crore.

Some of the Kerala RTC staff who participated in the procession, were also seen carrying banners requesting for the buses to be spared during protests.

“The government never compensates for the losses incurred by the KSRTC. If you think that the stones you are throwing at us are at the government, then you are mistaken. Kerala government does not give a single penny to repair the damages that is caused during the hartal,” said Tomin Thachankary.

Ever since the Supreme Court verdict on September 28, allowing the entry of women of all ages to the Sabarimala temple, Kerala has seen a number of hartals and violent clashes in various parts of the state. But the situation escalated on January 2 when two women below the age of 50 entered the temple during the early hours of Wednesday. Several shops were forcibly shut by unruly mobs of protestors and the ones who refused were vandalised.

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