BJP-sponsored hartal in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 1: Normal life was affected in Kerala today following strike called by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in protest against the new Salem railway division being carved out of the Palakkad division.

Barring sporadic incidents of stone-pelting, the hartal was peaceful. A group of people smashed the window panes of a car in the city, police said.

Most of the shops and business establishments remained closed and vehicular traffic remained off the roads.

Tight security measures were being taken here in view of the vist of President Pratibha Patil. She attended a public function in the morning.

BJP activists also staged demonstrations against the Centre's ''neglect'' towards the State.

It may be recalled here that the Salem railway division would be inaugurated later in the day.

UNI

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