Sporadic violence has been reported from various parts of Kerala during a hartal organised on Tuesday by a Joint Council against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The hartal saw around 40 organisations coming together, including the Welfare Party, SDPI, Dalit Human Rights Movement, BSP and Porattam.
Most mainstream political parties, including the Left parties, Congress and IUML, had distanced themselves from the hartal saying that they did not want CAA to be depicted as a problem for Muslims. Moreover, these parties also do not want to be associated with the SDPI brand of politics.
The Kerala police detained 233 people in connection with the hartal, inlcuding 55 people in Ernakulam, 51 in Thrissur and 35 in Idukki. In Palakkad 21 people have been detained, while 13 were detained in Kannur, 12 in Kottayam and 8 in Wayanad.
The police had earlier declared the hartal illegal as the Joint Council had failed to get police permission in advance. The Kerala High Court has mandated that permission for hartals should be sought seven days ahead.
According to reports, stone pelting incidents were reported in Thiruvananthapuram's Peroorkada, Palakkad, Wayanad, Kozhikode, and in Kochi's Aluva.
A state-owned bus coming from Velankanni in Tamil Nadu was targeted by stone pelters as it reached Walayar in Palakkad around 3 am. In Kollam, around 5 buses were vandalised and protesters blocked the highway near the railway station.
Hartal supporters manhandled Circle Inspector Abdul Raheem in Kasaragode and grabbed his collar while he was trying to remove them from blocking a lorry in the town. In Kozhikode, around 30 workers of the SDPI have reportedly been arrested for holding a protest march.
In Pathanamthitta, around 35 SDPI workers have been taken into custody for a protest march at Adoor in the district.
Hartal supporters blocked a lorry in Kannur near Caltex, took off the vehicle's key and ran away with it. Kannur police arrested workers of the Welfare Party for blocking a road.
Normal life, however, remained largely unaffected especially in the southern parts of the state. In the northern part of Kerala too, the hartal has been partial so far.
The hartal began at 6 am and will go on till 6 pm.