Hartals are a violation of democratic rights of the people, the group said.

Kerala BJP to be sued by Say No To Hartal group for violence during shutdown
news Human Rights Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 09:03

A day after sporadic violence was reported across Kerala during the state-wide hartal called for by the BJP, the party could be staring at a lawsuit for violating human rights.

‘Say no to hartal,’ an organization that actively campaigns against hartals, has decided to sue the BJP leaders for the violence that ensued on Thursday and for causing damage to public property.

Smitha N reports for Deccan Chronicle that the group will approach the High Court asking the police to register a case against BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan and others for hartal-related violence.

“Based on the Justice JB Koshy judgment in 2004 in the George Kurian VS State of Kerala case, we will appeal in the HC to ask the police to register a case against BJP state chief Kummanam Rajasekharan and others for the hartal-related violence. We will also urge the court to ask the BJP to remit a corpus fund as compensation for the violence and difficulties caused to the public. The police should also make it clear how many cases have been registered against party workers or others for attacking motorists, shops and vehicles,” Raju Nair, general secretary of the movement was quoted as saying.

The Supreme Court had observed in 2004 that nobody can obstruct the fundamental rights of others in the name of hartals, strikes or bandhs.

“Bandhs cannot be forced on people after renaming it as strike or hartal,” the apex court said.

In 2011, the Kerala High Court had ordered the protesters to pay compensation for destruction of property and had also tightened the bail conditions.

'Say no to hartal' will also provide legal assistance to victims of hartal violence, says the report. 

Alleging that the hartal supporters not only blocked roads but also forcefully shut down stores including medical shops, Raju said that the awareness created about the human rights violations were in vain.

Urging the people to send photographs of hartal-related violence, ‘Say no to hartal’ Facebook page updated instances of supporters closing down shops and other violence from across the state. 

(All photographs from Say No To Hartal Facebook page)

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