Hartal near total in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, July 3 (UNI) The dawn-to-dusk hartal, called by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad as part of their 'Bharat Bandh' to protest revocation of land allotment to Sri Amarnath Shrine Board in Jammu and Kashmir, paralysed normal life in Kerala, today.

Barring some sporadic stone pelting incidents at Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses and attack against a toddy shop in Kottayam district, the hartal was by and large peaceful.

The hartal supporters pelted stones at KSRTC buses at Balaramapuram, Plamoodu, Peroorkkada and Ullur in the district, Valancherry in Malappuram district and Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district, police said.

Police had taken 15 people, eight from Peroorkkada, three from Malappuram and four from Kannur, into preventive custody.

All public transport system, including buses, kept off the roads.

Only private vehicles and two-wheelers could be seen plying.

Educational insititutions, commercial establishments and hotels remained closed, while government offices reported thin attendance.

A report from Kozhikode said the hartal was almost total in Kozhikode, Waynad and Kannur districts.

However, the hartal call made no impact in the Muslim-majority Malappuram district as offices and business establishments were functioning and private vehicles plying as usual.

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