500 arrested, 400 detained after bandh turns violent

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olice personnel patrol during the protest as part of the statewide strike called over NIA raids, in Kochi on Friday. | Photo: ANI

After violence broke out amid protests during a 12-hour bandh called by the Popular Front of India (PFI), police said that 500 people were arrested and 400 others had been put under preventive detention on Friday. The strike had been called to protest the arrest of PFI leaders. Stone pelting was reported which targeted an office of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Mattannur in Kannur, the police was reported to have said.

“500 people have been arrested in connection with that and 400 more have been put under preventive detention in connection with a hartal called by the Popular front of India (PFI). An incident of stone pelting was also reported at the RSS office at Mattanur,” Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order, Vijay Sakhare told ANI.

In another incident, arrests were made for carrying an explosive device where two “two persons on motorcycle with a bomb” were arrested while three more were arrested later, the ADGP said, adding that the situation wa now “normal and under control”.

A petrol bomb was thrown at the RSS office in Mattannur during the protest earlier in the day. PFI leaders were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies following raids in a nationwide crackdown. The controversial organisation had called a dawn-to dusk shutdown or bandh on Friday.

Stone-pelting incidents were reported at various places in Kerala during the protest including visuals where a Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus was attacked at Panamaram village in Wayanad district. KSRTC buses were also attacked in Kozhikode, Kochi, Alappuzha and Kollam.

Two people on a bike abused and hit police officials at Pallimukku in the Kollam district resulting in two cops needing hospital admissions. Two vehicles were damaged in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram. NIA, ED and state police forces across 15 states in India arrested a total of 106 PFI cadres on Thursday from multiple locations in a joint operation, sources were quoted by agencies.

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(With inputs from ANI)

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