Seven in preventive custody as part of measures to counter hartal violence in Kozhikode

Police deployment strengthened to ensure better protection for motorists along national and state highways

Police deployment strengthened to ensure better protection for motorists along national and state highways

Seven suspected Popular Front of India (PFI) activists have been taken into preventive custody as part of the heightened law and order measures by police to prevent hartal-related violence in Kozhikode city. Police sources said the action was taken in the wake of a series of attacks on KSRTC buses and goods vehicles on September 23.

Though private buses were totally kept off the road considering the chances of violence, KSRTC continued to operate its inter-district and inter-state services with police escort. Convoy services were considered to most of the locations. Police officers were posted in all major junctions of the national and state highways to offer protection to the motorists. Motorcycle squads and additional patrol vehicles were also pressed into service.

Despite the hartal-related violence, some of the merchants in the village areas dared to open their shops. At the same time, hartal supporters turned aggressive on some of the eateries kept open in the city limits. A hotel at Nadakkavu was attacked by a gang of unidentified PFI workers. The glass doors and windows of the building were destroyed in the incidents.

Alleging “poor interventions” on the part of the police in countering the hartal-related violence, Bharatiya Janata Party State President K. Surendran said the State Home Ministry was visibly surrendering to the Popular Front of India protest. “It is now clear that the citizens here are not safe,” he claimed.

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