No more instant shutdowns in Kerala soon: Chennithala

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 26 (IANS) With huge support against them from across the state, the famed instant shutdowns organised by various political parties in Kerala will soon be a thing of the past, said state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday.

Talking to reporters here, he said that the government will introduce a bill to regulate ‘hartals’ or shutdowns in the upcoming session of the state assembly that begins from Monday and hopes to make it a law this year itself.

“For certain, the state will no longer be caught unawares by instant shutdowns, as the new bill contains on how these shutdowns can be called. A three day notice has to be given… besides those who call the shutdown will have to deposit a certain sum of money and will be held responsible for all the destruction that takes place on such shutdowns,” said Chennithala.

He said that more than a lakh of people visited the website on which he had invited suggestions on the new move and a huge majority of them welcomed the measure.

“We have again decided to invite responses from people and on the 28th of this month, a suggestion box would be kept at all the police stations in the state, where people can drop in their suggestions besides all the offices of the 19 police district chiefs will hold discussions with the general public, and take suggestions,” added Chennithala.

He also noted that his government respects the right of people to express protest, but the protesters cannot take away the rights of those who are not a party to them.

“We are only trying to rein in this practice of forceful shutdowns and through this new law, all what has happened in our state will not happen again,” added Chennithala.

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