The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Communist Party of India-Marxist in Kerala [ Images ] to protest the arrest of its senior leader P Jayarajan in a murder case disrupted normal life across the state on Thursday.
Security was stepped up in politically-volatile areas of north Kerala. Two companies of Central Rapid Action Force had been requisitioned by the state government for deployment in Kannur to meet any eventuality, police said.
Mobility of people was virtually crippled as buses, taxis and autorickshaws kept off the road. Train traffic, however, was not affected.
Universities have postponed the examinations scheduled for the day.
Jayarajan, party's Kannur District Secretary, was arrested and remanded to judicial custody on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Indian Union Muslim League's youth wing activist Abdul Shukkoor at Ariyil in Kannur district in February last.
CPI-M [ Images ] dubbed the arrest as a "political act" by the Congress-led UDF Government as part of its plans to break the party by framing leaders in cases on bogus charges.