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Dalit outfits’ Hartal begins, activist Geethanandan in custody

Thiruvananthapuram: The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by thirty dalit organisations is progressing in the state and has evoked few untoward incidents in some places in the state. Leader of Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha M Geethanandan was taken into custody by the police in Kochi.

The police took Geethanandan into custody following an incident of attempting to block vehicles in Kochi. Twenty five other people were also taken into custody along with Geethanandan.

Meanwhile, Geethanandan has said that he had not tried to block vehicles, and added that those who blocked the vehicles have nothing to do with the hartal.

He also said that his arrest is a calculated move by the police and that he condemn this action by the police.

Though the private buses have stayed away from conducting services, the KSRTC buses are conducting their regular services. Also, private vehicles are plying on the road. Auto rickshaws and taxies are also conducting normal services.

Buses could not conduct services in Thampanoor in Thiruvananthapuram as Dalit activists picketed the road there. Some supporters of the hartal reached the bus depot by around 6.30 am and demanded to stop services. The police have taken them into custody.

The protesters are demanding to conduct a probe in the incident of shooting to death Dalits who took part in the Bharath bandh, and to provide compensation for their families. They are also demanding to reinstate the SC/ST Act to its previous form.

The hartal has been called by Kerala Cherama Sambava Development Society, Akhila Kerala Cheramar Hindu Mahasabha, Natinal Dalit Liberation Front, Dalit Human Rights Movement, Kerala Cheramar Sangham, and Social Liberation Front.

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