Thiruvananthapuram: Public vehicles were off the roads, while shops and business establishments downed shutters in support of a state-wide hartal called by the Congress-led UDF and the BJP to protest the alleged police high-handedness against relatives of a student who committed suicide.
Malappuram, which is in the thick of campaign for the April 12 bypoll, necessitated following the demise of former Union Minister E Ahamed, has been exempted from the hartal.
Roads wore a deserted look with only private cars and two-wheelers plying.
No untoward incident was reported in the early hours of the strike.
Rail passengers had a difficult time to get conveyance to reach their destinations.
In Wayanad, police were seen trying to chase away strike supporters, who prevented buses coming from other states, from operating services.
In Thiruvananthapuram, police had made arrangements to transport rail passengers, especially those coming to the Regional Cancer Centre.
The UDF and BJP had called for a state-wide hartal after police prevented Mahija, mother of Jishnu, who allegedly killed himself following “harassment” by college authorities, and other relatives from staging a hunger strike in front of the DGP’s office here yesterday.
Mahija and her brother have been admitted to Trivandrum Medical College Hospital.She will be observing hunger strike from the hospital.
Jishnu’s sister, Avishna, a Class X student, said she was also observing hunger strike at her home at Nadapuram in Kozhikode, seeking justice for her brother and against the police action on her parents.
Kerala and Mahatma Gandhi universities have postponed their examinations which were slated today.
There is however, no change in the recruitment examination being conducted today by Public service Commission (PSC) for various posts.
Jishnu Pranoy, a first year student of the private Nehru College of Engineering in Thrissur, was found hanging in the college hostel in January last following alleged harassment by college authorities.