Kerala minister gets massive support on curbing shutdowns

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 1 (IANS) In less than 24 hours, Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala’s Facebook post regarding a proposed law to curb shutdowns has crossed eight lakh likes.

“I have received massive response to my FB post seeking opinion on introducing a bill to curb ‘hartals’ (shutdowns). By now, eight lakh people have liked my post and this shows people are fed up with frequent shutdowns that Kerala experiences,” Chennithala said on Thursday while speaking at a public meeting in Malappuram.

In his Facebook post on Wednesday night, the minister said the Kerala government was mulling introducing a bill to curb ‘hartals’.

The post said frequent shutdown calls have become a menace for the people and society at large.

Even the Kerala High Court said it was high time to rein in ‘hartals’ and, hence, he decided to seek the opinion from all on the matter, Chennithala wrote on his Facebook page.

“This point was discussed at a weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday and every minister agreed to this. Now, seeing this massive response, in the next assembly session, a bill to this effect will be moved,” Chennithala said.

“During shutdowns, forcible closure of shops and other establishments will be punishable with imprisonment of six months and a fine, or both. The police will ensure there are no restrictions on movement of vehicles. If any official fails in his duty, action will be taken,” the minister said.

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