By SM.17 Nov, 2018
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dawn to dusk hartal announced by Sabarimala Karma Samithi in protest of Hindu Aikya Vedi state president K P Sasikala"s arrest began in Kerala. The BJP announced its support for the hartal. The Sabarimala Karma Samithi called for a state-wide hartal from 6 am to 6 pm following the arrest of Hindu Aikya Vedi state president KP Sasikala at Marakkoottam in the wee hours of Saturday.
KSRTC stopped services at several places leaving passengers stranded. KSRTC officials said that services will resume only if police provide protection. The general public, especially office goers and those travelling for medical treatment, were caught off guard by the hartal announced in the wee hours.
Most of them came to know of the 6 am to 6 pm hartal only after leaving their homes. Shops remained closed and auto-taxi services are minimal. Private buses are stopped at various places by hartal supporters. The KSRTC is plying convoy of buses from Erumeli to Pampa. All other services have been stopped.
Science festivals scheduled to be held in various districts have been postponed. Wayanad district school arts festival now stands postponed to Sunday. The Sugama Hindi examinations organised by Kerala Hindi Prachar Sabha and all classes scheduled by the distance education department of Kerala university have also been postponed.
KP Sasikala was arrested after she refused to heed to police asking her not to go to Sabarimala and return home. The arrest took place after 2 am, following which Sasikala was taken to Pampa in a forest department ambulance from where she was taken to Ranni in a police bus.
“I came to Sabarimala for pilgrimage but the police did not let me complete it. The police did not inform fellow pilgrims about my arrest,’ Sasikala said while returning with her "irumudikkettu". She claimed that the police did not follow protocol. However, police said it was preventive detention as prohibitory orders were in effect.