Monday, July 5, 2010

Hartal total, incident-free in district

Thiruvananthapuram: The dawn-to-dusk hartal call by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Bharathiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance to protest the hike in prices of petroleum products was total in the district on Monday.

The protest was relatively incident-free in the city and suburbs. Shops and commercial establishments remained closed for the better part of the day. Public transport buses, private cars, autorickshaws and taxis stayed off the road. Two-wheelers plied as usual.

Unidentified persons threw stones at Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses at Parassala on Sunday night. No incidents of forced closure of shops or violence were reported, the police said.

A small group of hartal supporters attempted to block the vehicle of Congress legislator A.P. Abdullakutty at Vithura around 4 p.m. The MLA was travelling in a Maruti Swift car along with two others, including former panchayat president Reghuchandran Nair and one Mujib, a lawyer. One Prasad, a real estate dealer, his wife and son, were tailing the MLA in a Mercedes Benz car.

The police said Mr. Abdullahkutty and Mr. Prasad were returning from Ponmudi, where Mr. Prasad had booked few rooms. The MLA told the police that he had gone to attend a personal function. They drove their vehicles into the Vithura police station and continued on their journey to the city an hour later.

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