General strike: Protesters attack panchayat secretary in Ernakulam, trader in Kozhikode

(Left) Pindimana panchayat secretary Manoj, and CPM workers Biju and Jaison, who attacked Manoj.

Ernakulam: Pindimana panchayat secretary K Manoj on Monday sustained grievous injuries after he was physically assaulted by supporters of the nationwide strike for going to work.

Three BJP workers, who were in the office at the time, and a police officer, who was on security duty, were also injured in the attack. The attackers allegedly barged into the secretary's room before assaulting him. All were admitted to the taluk hospital.

The attackers claimed that the BJP workers had reached the panchayat office to provide security to the secretary. However, the BJP workers maintained that they had arrived at the office to remit land tax.

CPM local committee secretary Biju P Nair and local committee member Jaison Baby were arrested in connection with the incident.

Trader attacked in Kozhikode

Supporters of the strike in Kozhikode threw stinging nettle powder (itching powder) at Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti unit president K P Sreedharan before attacking him for opening his shop.

The windshield of an autorickshaw returning from a temple was vandalised. Another autorickshaw carrying a patient to a hospital in Tirur in Malappuram district was intercepted and the driver was assaulted by supporters.

The chairs of an ice cream outlet near Paravoor in Ernakulam were broken by hartal supporters. The shopowner and employees were locked inside the shop. Later, police reached the spot and released them.

Agitators blocked vehicles carrying workers of BPCL at Ambalamugal. The court had prevented the workers from taking part in the agitation.

Meanwhile, shops in Pallikara in Kizhakkambalam opened as per usual. Earlier, the High Court had directed police to provide security to traders of Pallikkara to open their shops. Shopkeepers in Pallikkara have been functional even on hartal days since 2014.

Secretary of the Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions, Elamaram Kareem, alleged that at a time when even the national media is giving prominence to the nationwide strike, a section of the media in Kerala is attempting to show that it is a huge inconvenience for the people.

The strike had no impact on normal life in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru. In Kolkata, however, supporters of the strike disrupted traffic at various places.

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