Even as the National Investigative Agency conducted raids across the country and took various leaders of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in custody on Thursday, the Islamic organisations took to the streets in Kerala and coastal Karnataka protesting against it.
Yesterday, in Karnataka‘s Bantwal and Udupi, police had to resort to lathi charge as PFI workers took to the streets shouting slogans of ‘NIA go back’.
The protests took a more organised form today after it called for a state-wide bandh. Stone pelters damaged state transport buses and private vehicles in various places in Kerala.
Border district Kasaragod stayed completely closed, as reported, with even state transport buses off the road.
No incidents of violence were reported as people shut shop and stayed off the roads, except for one incident of a truck being pelted with stones on Friday (23 September) morning.
But in parts of Kerala, including Ernakulam where Rahul Gandhi‘s yatra had reached yesterday before it announced a break, and Trisshur from where he would be starting tomorrow, PFI workers resorted to violence, hurting police and public.
As reported by Asianet, stone pelting incidents damaging KSRTC buses were reported at various places in Thiruvananthapuram, while private vehicles too had to bear the brunt of the PFI’s protests.
According to this report, there have been incidents of petrol bombs being hurled at a newspaper distribution vehicle in the wee hours of the morning in Kannur, while over a 100 PFI activists were arrested after lathi charge at Pala and Erattupetta in Kottayam.
The state unit of PFI had warned of the hartal if state doesn't release the detained leaders immediately.
PFI Kerala state general secretary, A Abdul Sattar, added that ‘any attempt to ban the PFI will be met with strong resistance’ as reported, adding that the NIA was ‘implementing RSS agenda’.
Meanwhile, the SDPI in Mangalore too demanded that the leaders be released within 24 hours failing which they will ‘stage a severe agitation against the state and union governments‘.
District officials called the NIA raid at the SDPI office ‘unlawful’ as the court order only mentioned PFI and not SDPI.
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