Hartal against human-animal conflict peaceful in Wayanad

Mananthavady town wears a deserted look due to the district-wide hartal in Wayanad on Feb 13, 2024. Photo: Manorama

Wayanad: In a unified stand against the surging incidents of human-animal conflict, various farmer and trader organizations launched a dawn-to-dusk hartal on Tuesday, demanding immediate government action. The shutdown, which started at 6 am, was largely peaceful.

The hartal comes in the wake of the brutal killing of Panachiyil Ajeesh, 47, who was trampled to death by a rogue elephant on Saturday morning at Padamala near Mananthavady here.

Though first announced by the Farmers Relief Forum (FRF), various organizations extended support to the hartal later. The Political Affairs Committee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mananthavadi, Communist Party of India Marxist Leninist (Red Star ), United Farmers' Associaion and various Whatsapp groups expressed solidarity with the agitation. Kerala Karshaka Congress, the farmers' arm of Congress also extended support.

The FRF appeal for a 'hartal of conscience' and restraint from use of force seems to have struck a chord with the public. Educational institutions reported a drop in student attendance on Tuesday and the number of private buses and other vehicles plying on the road were also low.

Majority shops of the district remained closed as the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, the strong traders' organization also had called for a state-level 'down the shutters' agitation on Tuesday in protest against the hostile attitude of the state and central governments.   

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