Hartal total, 2 injured in stone pelting in Kerala'

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

Official sources said two people sustained injuries when a group of people pelted stones at a vehicle in which they were travelling at Kazhakottam.

Reports from other parts of the state said barring sporadic incidents of stone pelting, the hartal was peaceful.

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

Tight security measures were taken here in view of the visit of President Pratibha Patil.

Meanwhile, BJP activists staged demonstrations in different parts of the state against the Centre's ''neglect'' of the state.

A report from Kozhikode said the hartal was almost total in the northern districts in the absence of public transport, forcing the people to stay indoors.

Shops and business establishments remained closed in Kozhikode city and in Kannur, Kasaragod, Wyanad and Malappuram districts.

In Kozhikode, many passengers were stranded at the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation depot as bus services were stopped at various destinations, fearing violence.

A Kochi report said normal life was thrown out of gear as the hartal was total in the district.

Educational institutions, shops and commercial establishments remained closed. The public road transport system remained suspended but private vehicles were seen plying.

District authorities said no untoward incidents were reported in the district.

A Cochin Port Trust Offcial said the strike had not affected the operations of the port as 75 per cent of the officials reported for duty.

UNI

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