The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Sabarimala Karma Samiti and backed by BJP on Thursday saw violent attacks across Kerala with protestors setting ablaze the CPM office at Tavanoor in Malappuram and a CPM-controlled library at Vennakkara in Palakkad as part of protests against two young women worshipping at Sabarimala on Wednesday morning.
At Pandalam, a samiti activist severely injured in the clashes on Wednesday evening died on Thursday. Chandran Unnithan (55) of Koorambala was admitted to a hospital immediately and later succumbed to injuries. There were clashes between CPM and BJP activist. According to BJP, Unnithan was hurt after stones were thrown at him. Two persons have been taken to custody.
In Thiruvananthapuram, a woman collapsed and died of a cardiac arrest in a train as there was a long wait for the ambulance. Police and social organisations stepped in to organise transport to people travelling to the medical hospital and the Regional Cancer Centre. BJP and samiti activist plan a massive protest march outside the Secretariat.
In all 17 KSRTC buses have been damaged in protests since yesterday, forcing the corporation to stop services. Police vehicles are arranged to take people going to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. Police have informed that they will provide protection for KSRTC if they are ready to start services. BJP-Sabarimala Karma Samithi activists will stage protests in front of the secretariat in the morning.
In Kottarakkara, BJP-DYFI clashes led to injury of six people. In Kannur, six persons were arrested for hurling stones at a hotel. In various places, hartal supporters burnt tyres on roads to prevent movement of traffic.
With samiti activists set to take out marches in various places later in the day which could result in clashes and violence.