Chinnakanal: Residents of eight panchayats in Idukki observed hartal on Thursday, marking protest against the Kerala High Court order which halted Mission Arikomban. Thousands, including children and women, participated in demonstrations held in various locations.
The hartal was followed at Chinnakanal, Santhanpara, Rajakumari, Munnar, Devikuam, Vattavada, Kanthalloor and Marayoor panchayats in Udumbanchola and Devikulam taluks. Various political parties extended their support for the hartal.
The works in plantations were disrupted and many tourists were stranded. Traffic congestion was experienced on Kochi- Dhanushkodi route with the roads blocked in several locations from 6 am to 6 pm on Thursday.
The hartal was harsh at Chinnakanal and Santhanpara panchayats. Bodimettu, near Kerala- Tamil Nadu border, witnessed strong protests as residents intruded roads and prepared gruel from there.
When police blocked a protesting march from Sinkukandam to Cement Palam, the protestors continued the demonstration inside a temporary shed. Priests also joined the protests held at Bodimettu and Periyakanal.
Meanwhile, Santhanpara police informed that a case will be registered against those who led protests, without serving a seven days prior notice. Another case will be registered against those who blocked the National Highway.
The High Court on Wednesday had halted the forest department’s operation to cage the wild tusker ‘Arikomban’ that killed nearly 7 persons in Chinnakanal region and destroyed several houses and shops here. The court assured to consider the mission only after evaluating a report of an expert panel on the issue.