PFI calls for Kerala shutdown on Friday to protest arrest of their leaders

The basic and essential services have been excluded from the shutdown.

Thiruvananthapuram: To protest against the manner in which their top leaders were arrested by a joint team of Enforcement Directorate and NIA officials in the wee hours of Thursday, the Kerala unit of the Popular Front of India (PFI) has called for a dawn to dusk Kerala shutdown on Friday.

The call for a shutdown was given by PFI general secretary, Abdul Sathar and other leaders after around 22 top leaders were taken into custody and it included their chairman OMA Salam, Nasarudheen Elamaram, P. Koya and several others.

The basic and essential services have been excluded from the shutdown.

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The raids were conducted with the help of Central forces and there are reports that the top brass of the Kerala Police was informed but was not told what exactly is the mission and a few battalions of the force was asked to be ready, if a need arises.

While a few of the arrested have already been taken to Delhi, around a dozen is expected to be produced before the NIA court at Kochi, later in the day.

“This is nothing but a blatant violation of basic human rights and dancing to the tunes of the RSS, the Central agencies have taken into custody several of our leaders. We are sure all democratic loving people will oppose this. To protest, this we have called for a state-wide dawn to dusk Kerala shutdown to be observed on Friday,” said Sathar.

All eyes are now on how intense would be the shutdown, as the normal practice in Kerala is any call for a shutdown means shops, offices, markets remain closed and public road transport vehicles do not operate.

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