Thiruvananthapuram: Several incidents of violence were reported during the state-wide hartal organised by the Popular Front of India (PFI) on Friday.
The strike, protesting against the countrywide raid and arrests by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), will be observed from 6 am to 6 pm.
The Kerala High Court on Friday took a case against PFI suo moto for the hartal for violating its ruling.The court said hartal was banned by it earlier and the destruction of the public property cannot be accepted.
The court also asked the state administration to take stern action against those who violate the court order banning hartals.
It asked the government to use all possible means to stop any form of violence. Incidents of violence, including stone pelting were reported across the state on Friday.
A petrol bomb was hurled at a vehicle distributing newspapers in Narayanpara, Kannur. A bomb was also hurled at an RSS office in Mattanur.
In Alappuzha, the windshields of two Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses and two lorries were destroyed.
Stones were also hurled at vehicles in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.
A KSRTC driver suffered eye injury near Kozhikode Civil Station when stones were hurled at the bus he was driving. He has been taken to the General Hospital.
Another KSRTC driver was injured in the stone pelting which took place on the National Highway near Cheruvannur steel complex in Kozhikode. The driver, Siji, was admitted to a privae hospital nearby.
KSRTC buses were damaged in stone pelting incidents on Chingavanam-Changanassery bus route in Kottayam. Stone pelting was also reported in Thekkumgopuram, Ayemenem, Kodimatha and Kurichi regions of Kottayam. The police lathi-charged at protestors in Erattupetta after an agitation escalated here.
In Thiruvananthapuram's Pothencode, a group of 15 agitators vandalised shops. One person was taken into custody by the police after the incident. Vehicles plying on roads were stopped by protestors in Kattakada of Thiruvananthapuram.
In Kollam's Palimukku, a group of protesters hit the policemen on duty with a bike after the former hurled abuses at commuters. Senior Civil Police Officer Antony, CPO Nikhil were injured.
Strict action against offenders: Police
The Kerala Police has said action will be taken on those who attempt to close shops by use of force during the hartal. They will be arrested immediately, the police said in a release.
State police chief Anil Kant has directed district chiefs to prohibit gathering of hartal supporters in public places and to go for preventive custody if needed.
The entire police force will be pressed into action to prevent untoward incidents during the 12-hour hartal, the Kerala Police media cell informed.