Thiruvananthapuram, July 30 (IANS) A dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by the BJP following the murder of an RSS activist derailed normal life across Kerala on Sunday, residents and officials said.
Shops and markets were closed almost everywhere, reports reaching here said. All public vehicles went off the roads, leaving hundreds stranded at railway stations and bus terminals.
The Bharatiya Janata Party called the protest after suspected activists of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) hacked to death E. Rajesh, 34, a member of the RSS, here on Saturday night. He died a few hours later.
Those who ventured out in their own vehicles on Sunday were stopped by angry BJP and RSS workers on the main roads.
A family which travelled from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi, a distance of 250 km, said it 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 for 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.
Hundreds who arrived at railway stations found themselves stranded as they could not get any vehicles to reach their destinations. The shutdown officially ends at 6 p.m.