THIRUVANANTHAPRAM: Several media persons were attacked during the state-wide hartal called by the BJP on Thursday over the killing of a BJP activist in Kannur. Media persons, who went to the Secretariat to report the BJP march were attacked by hartal supporters. Cameras were also damaged.
Kerala Kaumudi photographer Arun Mohan’s camera lenses were damaged. UNI photographer Suneesh’s camera was also damaged.
There were wide-spread violence in the State during the day. The strikers blocked vehicles and forced shoppers to down the shutters. The hartal was complete with most of the shops and institutions remaining closed. KSRTC buses as well as auto rickshaws, taxis and lorries remained off the roads. Though a few private vehicles came out on the roads, the hartal supporters waved them down, leading to commotion. Schools and colleges didn’t function and government officers registered a low attendance.
In Kochi, hartal supporters blocked all vehicles except two-wheelers. A BJP worker’s shop was set on fire at Poovattuparambu Mundakkal in Kozhikode. The strikers demolished the memorial of Azheekkodan Raghavan at Chettiyangadi while in Thalassery, Balaram memorial was demolished.
In Kollam Chavara, doctors were not allowed to work. A marriage party’s car was stopped and key taken out by the agitators and damages were also caused to the car.
In Kochi and Kollam, vehicles that appeared on roads were stoned. The vehicle carrying Kerala Blasters Football team was blocked.
Indian Express reporter Kamal Nath and Mathrubhumi online reporter S R Jithin were attacked while a DYFI ambulance was damaged near Big Bazar.
Kerala Union of Working Journalists has asked the government to take action against the perpetrators of violence and sought compensation from the BJP.