A little violence was reported across Kerala during the dawn-to-dusk hartal which was called for by the radical Islamic group Popular Front of India ( PFI) taking place in Kerala’s southern part on Friday.
The hartal was arranged to be held by PFI for protests against raids of the residences and offices of its chiefs and later arrest on the Thursday of Thursday, by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies for being involved in terrorist activities throughout the country.
Stones were thrown by stones at Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses (KSRTC) in several districts like Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Alappuzha.
Local media said that a petrol bomb had been shot at a vehicle that was carrying newspapers to distribute near Narayanpara in Kannur early in the early morning.
At Alappuzha, KSRTC buses, one tanker lorry, and other vehicles were damaged by the stone pelting, allegedly carried out by people who support Hartal’s call.
A 15-year-old girl and an auto-rickshaw driver were both injured with minor injuries from the stone-pelting incident allegedly perpetrated by PFI members within Kozhikode as well as Kannur respectively.
Then, Kerala police beefed up security in the state. They also gave directions to district police chiefs to enforce law and order following the PFI demand for a one-day all-state hartal.
A statement from the police stated that severe punishment will be imposed on anyone who is in violation of the law.
“All the policemen in the state will be deployed for the maintenance of law and order,” the statement stated.
The PFI on Thursday had declared that the state would observe a hartal in the state of Kerala today “against the fascist regime of the RSS controlled by the government’s efforts to disarm the state.”
Dissenting voices are heard by”the central authorities”.
The hartal will be held between 6 am and 6 pm, A Abdul Sathar, general secretary of the state, PFI, had said in the press release.
This Thursday PFI members marched to places where the raids were conducted and shouted slogans at authorities at the Centre and its investigative agencies. But central forces had already been present in all these locations in order to enhance security.
Multi-agency teams led by the NIA were able to arrest 106 members belonging to PFI PFI on Thursday, in close simultaneous raids in 93 locations across 15 states, with allegations of supporting terrorist activities across the country.
Kerala which is in which PFI has a few pockets of strength is the place that saw the largest number of 22 arrested according to officials.
PFI the state head C P Mohammed Basheer, national chairman O M A Salam, national secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram and former Chairman E Abubacker, and others were among those detained.