The dawn-to-dusk hartal in Kerala called by the PFI has begun on Friday with sporadic incidents of stone pelting being reported in many areas of the state. The strike was called by the Islamic outfit Popular Front of India after its top leaders were arrested in a massive country-wide raid on Thursday.
Here are the top 10 points to know about the Kerala bandh today and why it has been called
1. Kerala Police said they have upped the security in the state and issued directions to the district police chiefs to ensure law and order amid the Kerala bandh today. Stern action will be taken against the lawbreakers, the police statement said. A KSRTC bus was vandalised in Companypadi near Aluva by protesters. Vehicles were attacked in Thiruvananthapuram.
2. The state-run KSRTC informed that it will operate its services as usual. Special services to hospitals, airports and railway stations will be arranged if necessary, the KSRTC said, as quoted by news agency PTI.
3. The strike began at 6am and will end at 6pm.
4. The joint raid of Thursday by the NIA, the ED and the state police forces was termed as the biggest ever crackdown — in which 22 PFI leaders were arrested. The raid started before dawn on Thursday.
5. The order for this joint raid was issued at around 3.30 am on Thursday morning by the director general of the NIA, Dinakar Gupta along with ED director Sanjay Mishra and the state police chief concerned, an HT report said.
6. PFI workers took to the streets on Thursday to protest the raids which they called “part of terror unleased by an operative regime controlled by the RSS’.
7. The raid was in connection with a case of terror funding. PFI national chairman OMA Salam, national secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram, and Kerala president CP Mohammed Basheer were among the arrested.
8. Union home minister Amit Shah held a meeting with the chiefs of the agencies to review the evidence collected. National security advisor Ajit Doval was also present at the meeting.
9. Muslim organisations urged the youth from the community to remain patient. All India Tanjim Ulema-e-Islam, Kul Hind Markazi Imam Council and Muslim Students Organisation of India (MSO) have said in their statements that if action has been taken to comply with the law and prevent terrorism, then everyone should be patient with it.
10. Commenting on the raids by ED, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said ED’s role comes into the picture when it is found that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act has been violated, “Try to understand the functioning of the ED. It does not reach the spot when an incident happens. Its role comes into the picture only after it emerges that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been violated in a case. The ED never comes into the picture directly. It comes when there is a doubt that money laundering has happened,” she explained.
(With agency and bureau inputs)