The United Democratic Front in Kerala has declared a dawn-to-dusk hartal Monday to protest against the Centre and state government over rising fuel prices. The Left Front government has said stern action would be taken against those who disrupt normal life.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said on Sunday that hartal would be peaceful. “The hartal would reflect the public sentiment against the Centre and the state governments. Everyone should cooperate. Officegoers, traders and labourers should join the strike,” said Chennithala.
However, the Chief Minister’s Office said the police had been directed to take stern action against those disrupting normal life. “Stern action would be taken against those who force traders to down shutters or threaten people who report for work in offices. Necessary protection would be given to passenger buses to operate service. Police would strengthen patrolling, would keep a vigil at government offices and courts to ensure their normal functioning,’’ said an official communication from the CMO.
A communication from DGP Loknath Behera said the police would file cases against those who destroy public property on the hartal day.
President of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasai Ekopana Samithi T Nazeerudheen has said traders would not support the hartal as shutdowns lead to heavy losses.
Kerala High Court has sought an explanation from Chennithala on the decision to announce the strike.