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Anti-Bush 'hartal' call evokes low-key response in Kerala

Written by: Staff

Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 2 (UNI) The ''hartal'' called by the CPI -ML (Red Flag) to protest against the visit of US President George Bush evoked a poor response in Kerala, with normal life remaining by-and-large unaffected.

Reports from across the state said the operation of the state-run and private bus services were normal, while shops, offices and educational institutions functioned normally.

In Thiruvananthapuram, all the government offices and educational institutions functioned normally.

The CBSE and other exams scheduled for the day commenced without any interruption.

Barring isolated incidents of stoning of vehicles, no violence was reported from anywhere in the state, police said.

A Kochi report said while State transport buses were plying within the city limits, services to the suburban areas were affected.

Other public transport vehicles, including auto-rickshaws, were also on the road in good numbers.

Most business establishments were open. Schools, colleges and government and private offices also functioned as usual although there was some absentism due to lack of public transport buses from peripheral areas.

According to police, the window panes of two KSRTC buses were damaged in stray incidents of stone throwing. The CPI-ML (Red Flag) activists held an anti-Bush demonstration near the Kochi corporation and burnt the effigy of Mr Bush.

A report from Kozhikode said that private buses kept off the roads as hartal supporters pelted stone against KSRTC buses. A driver was injured in the incident.

However, the strike did not affect taxis and autorickshaws.

In Kannur except few shops and hotels, all other commercial establishments and hotels and restaurants functioned as usual.

Private buses, KSRTC buses, taxies, autorickshaws and other vehicles plied as normal.

Government offices, banks, some schools and other institutions remained opened.

A CPI(ML) workers was taken into custody while he was trying to obstruct the movement of buses at the Kannur bus stand , police said.


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