The Kerala High Court Monday took strong objection to Congress’ state-wide hartal over the murder of two Youth Congress workers in Kasaragod district.
Last month, the Kerala HC had banned flash hartals, making it mandatory for any organisation, political or otherwise, to issue a notice for a bandh at least seven days in advance. In that regard, today’s bandh call was contempt of the court, the bench chaired by chief justice Hrishikesh Roy noted.
The court directed the police to issue a contempt notice against Dean Kuriakose, state president of the Youth Congress, as well as against the Kasaragod district chairman of the United Democratic Front (UDF).
Congress heads the UDF coalition in Kerala. The leaders have been asked to present themselves before the court on Friday.
Court has also asked the state government to initiate measures to reopen educational institutions and reinstate transportation across the state, so as to not cause inconvenience to commuters. Model examinations, considered a precursor to the state board exams, had been postponed.
The police have been asked to ensure the safety and security of the public as they traverse possible agitations and party demonstrations on the streets. Any damages to public facilities must be compensated from those involved in vandalism, the court said.
The state-wide bandh invoked by the UDF has been largely peaceful across the state, barring minor skirmishes in major cities like Trivandrum and Kochi. Private buses, autorickshaws are staying off roads in most towns.
This is the second hartal in the state in two months.