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Kerala bandh today: PFI hartal turns violent, KSRTC services suspended, petrol bomb hurled at vehicles

Kerala bandh today: PFI hartal turns violent, KSRTC services suspended, petrol bomb hurled at vehicles

The 12-hour hartal was called by PFI to protest the arrest of its functionaries at 93 locations in 15 states on Thursday. PFI national chairman OMA Salam, national secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram, and Kerala president CP Mohammed Basheer were arrested during the raids. 

Stones were hurled at cars, bikes, buses and trucks in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappazha, Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Wayanad. Stones were hurled at cars, bikes, buses and trucks in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappazha, Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Wayanad.

A 12-hour hartal called by the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Kerala started on a rough note after incidents of stone pelting and arson were reported from different parts of the state.

The bandh was called by the PFI after its top leaders were arrested in a massive countrywide raid by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday. 

The Kerala High Court has initiated a suo motu case against PFI leaders for organising the one-day statewide bandh. As per a previous Kerala HC order, nobody can call for a bandh in the state without permission.  

Also read: PFI raids: NIA, ED searches multiple locations; 100 members arrested

Stones were hurled at cars, bikes, buses, and trucks in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, and Wayanad. A petrol bomb was hurled at a vehicle distributing newspapers in Narayanpara, Kannur. Kerala Police said they have upped the security in the state and issued directions to the district police chiefs to ensure law and order is maintained. It issued a statement saying that the police would take stern action against those who violate the law. 

On Thursday, NIA arrested 106 functionaries of the PFI in parallel raids at 93 locations in 15 states accusing them of supporting terror activities in the country. The raid was conducted by NIA, ED, and state police in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar, and Manipur. Among the prominent names, PFI national chairman OMA Salam, national secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram, and Kerala president CP Mohammed Basheer were arrested during the raids. 

The PFI, on Thursday, had said a hartal will be observed in the state today "against the RSS-controlled fascist government's attempt to silence dissenting voices using the central agencies".

As per reports, the Home Minister, Amit Shah held a meeting with the chiefs of the agencies to review the incident, where National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was also present. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also said that the matter was crucial as ED's role can also come into the picture when it is found that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act has been violated.  

(With agency inputs)