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‘Those who vandalized public property should be prosecuted, lightning hartal is illegal; Contempt of Court’: High Court

First Published Sep 23, 2022, 11:36 AM IST

Kochi : After the NIA raid and the arrest of the leaders, the lightning hartal conducted by the Popular Front was declared illegal by the High Court. The court directed that action against the court order not to hold hartal is contempt of court and action should be taken against those who called and those who launched the attacks. The High Court Division Bench’s order is in a case taken voluntarily against Lightning Hartal.

The court directed that police action should be taken to protect public and private property from attacks by hartal supporters. Those who support illegal hartal should be monitored. The court strictly directed that a case should be filed against those who vandalized the public domain and the details of the same should be disclosed. Measures should be taken to prevent attacks. The court also directed that adequate security should be provided to public transport. Clarifying that the court is not opposed to holding strikes, Jayasankaran Nambiar and a division bench comprising Niaz Rahman directed that action be taken against such lightning hartals and attacks.

There were severe criticisms from the court during the hearing. The Popular Front hartal was conducted when the hartal was banned by the court. Unacceptable things are happening in the state. The court also directed that destruction of public property should be stopped. Strict action should be taken against those who violate the court order banning hartal. During the hearing, it was also stated that such acts of violence that disrupt the lives of citizens should be met with an iron fist. The court also directed the police to use all means to prevent violence.

The Popular Front called for the hartal after the NIA raid and the arrest of the leaders. There are widespread attacks in the state on the hartal day. At many places, protesters came out on the streets and blocked the vehicles. Many people were injured in the stone pelting. A bomb hit a newspaper van in Kannur Uli. Stones pelted on KSRTC buses. The windows of about fifty buses were broken. Drivers were injured in Kozhikode, Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram. Passengers were injured in Kannur Valapatnam and Pathanamthitta. KSRTC stopped services at many places. The instructions received by the units are that services are sufficient only with police protection.

KSRTC Facebook post asking not to show the power to the elephant cart

Police lathi-charged Popular Front hartal supporters who blocked vehicles and created tension in Kottayam Eratupetta. Five PFI workers were taken into police custody. Around 100 people were taken into custody and shifted to Eratupetta Pala police stations. The problems started when the protestors who got organized at Eratupetta entered the middle of the road and blocked the vehicles and closed the shops. There was a situation of threatening the public and there was tension. With this, the police team arrived and lathi-charged the protestors. In Eratupetta, more policemen have been deployed as there is a possibility of conflict in the city. A team led by Pala DySP Girish P Sarathy is patrolling the spot.

Last Updated Sep 23, 2022, 11:40 AM IST

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