In one of the worst ever damages inflicted in a day long shutdown in Kerala, angry Popular Front of India (PFI) created mayhem and at the end of the day, 70 KSRTC buses was damaged, besides damaging other vehicles and properties.
PFI activists called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown to protest the arrest of 19 fellow activists including their leaders, as part of an early morning joint operation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday.
Things appeared to change after the Kerala High Court, on Friday, strongly condemned and initiated suo motu proceedings against the leaders of PFI for the illegal call for a flash hartal in the State.
A Division Bench of Justice A. K. Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice Mohammed Nias wanted stringent action against the violators of the Court’s order.
It was after that that Kerala Police got into the act and by evening, 127 people were arrested , 53 cases was registered , and 229 people were taken into preventive custody.
At Kannur, an RSS office was attacked when the police took into custody a PFI worker who was carrying petrol bombs.
Likewise, there were numerous reports of PFI activists forcefully closing down shops and turned physical at those who resisted.
The maximum impact of the dawn-to-dusk bandh was seen in the Muslim stronghold areas of the state.
Even though the SDPI – the political arm of the PFI – is part of the erstwhile political fronts, over the years, neither the ruling CPI-M led Left nor the Congress-led opposition took a stand against PFI, for obvious “electoral” reasons.
When most of the universities in the state have postponed the day’s examinations, the Public Service Commission has decided to hold the exam as scheduled.
Educational institutions across the state also remained closed.