Julius Nikithas, son of former MLA KK Lathika and CPI (M) district secretary P Mohanan, and his wife Saniyo Manomi, a reporter, were injured in the attack

Kerala couple attacked by protesters for defying hartal called by right-wing groupsJulius and Saniyo, Image Courtesy: asianetnews.com
news Protest Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 17:09

In Kuttiyadi, Kozhikode, a young couple travelling in a car were allegedly stopped and attacked by protestors, who were enforcing a hartal on Saturday. The day to dusk hartal was called by the Hindu Aikya Vedi and Sabarimala Karma Samithi to protest the arrest of KP Sasikala, Hindu Aikya Vedi state president, when she tried to enter Sabarimala defying police curfew late night on Friday.

Julius Nikithas, son of former MLA KK Lathika and CPI (M) district secretary P Mohanan, and his wife Saniyo Manomi, a reporter with Asianet, were injured in the attack, Kuttiyadi police SI said. “He was taken to the Kuttiyadi hospital. The wife too was beaten. They are being taken to the Kozhikode Medical College,” the SI said.

According to Asianet, the couple was travelling from Saniyo’s house in Paleri to Julius’s house in Ambalakkulangara. A gang of ten stopped the car at Ambalakkulangara and allegedly attacked them, taking the car keys and dragging the couple out. Julius was wounded in the attack, and sustained a nose bleed. Saniyo was also allegedly beaten on her chest and below her stomach.

Julius, after the attack

A report by Asianet said that the couple was attacked again on the way to the Kozhikode Medical College. Since their injuries were serious, the couple was asked to shift from Kuttiyadi Taluk Hospital. Stones were hurled at the car, even though the couple had travelled with police protection.

The hartal had been called without warning and few were aware of it when they landed in railway stations across the state. “We have deployed a couple of convoys to carry the stranded passengers,” said the Thiruvananthapuram city police control room.

But people who were taken on a bus from Thampanoor were reportedly stopped by protestors who said that only Ayyappa devotees would be allowed to go. The hartal also affected a large number of devotees commuting from far away places and trying to reach Sabarimala.

Stranded devotees at KSRTC bus station in Thiruvananthapuram - Sreekesh Raveendran Nair

This reporter was stopped by protestors in Thiruvananthapuram for taking an autorickshaw in Vazhuthacaud to go to the GG hospital. Despite mentioning that the purpose was to go to the hospital to reach an accident victim urgently, the protestors verbally abused the autorickshaw driver and threatened to “take care of him” when he was back from the trip. “Aren’t you a Hindu? Why would you take your auto out?” another protestor had asked him threateningly.

A school Science Congress in Thiruvananthapuram, which was put together with minimum budget following the flood, had to be cancelled. The teachers gave away the food prepared to hospitals and stranded passengers at railway station.

In Thiruvananthapuram, a huge queue was formed in front of the Civil Supplies petrol pump, which was the only fuel station opened in the city on Saturday.

At Balaramapuram, a clash took place between CPI(M) and Sangh Parivar workers when the two groups were holding separate rallies. The CPI(M) were holding the Janamunnetta Yathra and the Sangh Parivar was protesting the arrest of Sasikala. Police intervened when the two groups began hurling stones at each other.

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