Kerala witnesses shutdown following bandh call

Kerala witnesses shutdown following bandh call

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala witnessed a shutdown on Monday following a bandh called by 30 Dalit organisations to protest against the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. However, in Ernakulam the bandh was partial.

The state-owned Road Transport Corporation, private bus operators and traders’ body had earlier announced that they would function normally. But in many places, the protesters blocked roads, disturbing the traffic movement. There were reports that branches of many PSU banks were shut down by the protesters.

Media reports said in Kochi, the leader of Monday’s protest Geetanandan and his supporters were taken into custody.

The protestors forced the shops, especially in Kannur district, to shut down. In Kollam, a state-owned bus was stoned.

Teachers who were to reach the Class 10 examinations paper evaluation camp in the district were held up after traffic was halted.

On April 3, the Supreme Court declined to stay its ruling, which activists say has diluted the law aimed at preventing atrocities on Dalits and tribes, as it asserted that it wanted to protect innocent people from being punished.