The dawn-to-dusk Kerala shutdown called by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit on Thursday to protest the murder of one of its activists in Kannur was total, reports here said. While shops and establishments remained closed, attendances in various government and private establishments were thin as public and private transport and buses remained off the road.
Commuters arriving at railway stations in the state were stranded as public transport was unavailable. The BJP worker’s murder in Kannur on Wednesday had taken place in Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s village and was the second in two days, also the seventh in Kannur district since he assumed office in May.
Despite the shutdown, Vijayan’s cabinet held its routine weekly meeting at the state secretariat where security was stepped up.
Both at the Indian Space Research Organisation centre and Technopark campus, the police were deployed in numbers to ensure the safety of the employees and of the campus.
As many private firms allowed their workers to work from home, “the overall attendance was not like on usual working days,” an IT official said.
Although two-wheelers and private vehicles were seen plying around in urban areas, the picture was different in the rural localities. At Thrissur and in the state capital here, the protesters vented their anger against the media by destroying the advertisement boards of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
In some places, the protesters even roughed up persons who tried to venture out — the car of a medical professional in Kollam’s Karunagapally was damaged. The BJP workers also held protest marches in all district headquarters and raised slogans against Pinarayi Vijayan.