The dawn to dusk hartal called by the BJP on Sunday, in protest against the murder of an RSS worker, has come to an end across the state.
Tension prevailed in many parts of the state and sporadic incidents of violence were reported from a few areas. Roads appeared deserted and services operated by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation were also limited. KSRTC stopped services after stones were pelted at the buses though it had conducted services in the early morning. Only some private vehicles were seen on the roads.
Autorickshaws, taxis, and private buses abstained from conducting services. The hartal was declared late on Saturday after RSS worker Rajesh was hacked to death.
Passengers, who had reached railway stations and bus stations after long distance travelling, were left stranded. At someplaces, the police arranged vehicles for the passengers. Those who ventured out in their own vehicles on Sunday were stopped by angry BJP and RSS workers on the main roads.
Shops and markets were closed almost everywhere. A family, which travelled from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi, a distance of 250 km, said they underwent a nightmare.
"At several places, supporters of RSS and BJP stopped us and spoke to us as if we were criminals. Finally, after undergoing a lot of trouble, we reached Kochi," businessman Ajith Kumar told IANS.
At several places, BJP and RSS workers reportedly expressed their ire on those who had to travel.
"A funeral that was to take place has been postponed until tomorrow (Monday) as many people who wished to come could not make it," K. Thomas, who hails from Puthupally in Kottayam district, told IANS.
The only saving grace was that since today was a Sunday and a public holiday, government offices were anyway shut.
With inputs from IANS