The Hindu Aikya Vedi and Sabarimala Karma Samithi have called a dawn-to-dusk flash hartal across Kerala on Saturday to protest the arrest of Vedi president K.P. Sasikala, who was on the way to Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta on Friday night.
Public transport, such as autorickshaws and personal vehicles, remained off the street, setting the commuters. The KSRTC didn’t operate services except for its Sabarimala specials as the numbers of pilgrims were much less than normal.
A tense situation prevailed in the area as protesters converged on streets as early as 7.30 a.m. They also organized a march to the office of the district police chief.
The hartal had a partial impact in Erumeli Town, regarded as the gateway of Sabarimala, with the KSRTC. However, private buses have been made to draw their operations and stores functioned during the day.
The hartal at 4 a.m. Its support was extended by the BJP in the last moment.
“Some sources spreading the news that Sabarimala Pilgrims had felt some trouble due to Harthal observed today. But they are going to feel more trouble and discomfort throughout Nilakkal to Sannidhanam due to Kerala Government’s attitude and Police Raj”. Said S.J.R Kumar to CBC news.
The hartal has inconvenienced many, including numerous long-distance commuters. Despite the steps adopted by the Thiruvananthapuram city police to arrange for the transportation of those who were headed to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, Regional Cancer Centre and other health centers, many continued to remain stranded at the Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station and the Thampanoor central bus terminal.
The interesting fact is that, Jayesh from Kozhikode just reach today morning at Thiruvananthapuram central and want to go to RCC and we asked him about the harthal “ I know its little tough for me to go to RCC, but I support this harthal, I am also a devotee and the police act at sabarimala is very bad. On what basis police arrest someone with “irumudikettu” is going to Sabarimala ?” The police have not even bothered to remove their shoes at the shrine. He added.
Photo credits: The Hindu