http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/article3455235.ece The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the State on Thursday to protest against the hike in price of petrol was total and incident free in the district.
The protest was largely peaceful, barring stray incidents of hartal supporters trying to halt public transport at a few places including Vyttila junction in the city. LDF supporters took out a procession denouncing the Union government for imposing further burden on common man and fuelling inflationary tendencies of the economy. Trade union leaders including K Chandran Pillai of the CPI(M) said the hike had come at a most inopportune time as the common man was already reeling under the spiralling prices of essential commodities.
The 12-hour hartal threw public life out of gear owing to lack of public transport. Shops and other commercial establishments, barring a few medical shops, had downed shutters, bringing life to a standstill. Attendance in government institutions and private establishments were thin and normal functioning was affected, reports indicate. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) initially operated its long distance services, but stopped them when reports of stray incidents of violence trickled in. There was hardly any public transport on the roads and only a few two-wheelers, and cars sporting the ‘wedding’ sticker could be seen on the main thoroughfares. In the industrial zones, normal life was affected and attendance was down in most establishments.