Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala traders decided to take an oath to not cooperate with hartals as a resolution for the New Year. They decided to keep their shops open from the next hartal. The decision was taken up by Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) in a meeting in Kozhikode. 

KVVES president T Naseeruddin said in a press conference that 2019 would be observed as an anti-hartal year. The Samithi also decided to conduct discussions with the political parties seeking support over the hartal issue.

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"I own a small stationery shop, even if I shut my shop for one day it affects my family, so I also decided not to cooperate with hartals," said Dhaneesh Krishnan, Kannur native.

The meeting was chaired by 36 organisations including representatives of private Lorry Owner’s Association, Hotel Owner’s Association, Bakery Association, Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Samithi, Calicut chamber of industry, Bus Operators Organizing Association. It has been decided that private buses and lorries will run on hartal days.

Meanwhile, a collective of 26 tourism organisations has decided to not cooperate with hartals. The decision was announced after a meeting was held in the auspices of Kerala Travel Mart Society. 

"I own a houseboat in Kuttanad, after the August floods my business worsened. Now the hartals is making our situation even worse," said Krishnankutty a native of Kuttanad. 

The meeting also decided not to co-operate with the national strike, which is planned to be held on January 8th and 9th, 2018. On an average, 100 hartals are called every year. The meeting observed that this adversely affects tourism in Kerala severely.

The meeting has decided that police security will be requested to ensure the right to travel on hartals. In case of any attack, proof in the form of videos and pictures will be produced before authorities to collect compensation from related parties. And if the right to travel is violated, steps will be taken to charge the accused(s) with contempt of court. To bring forth a common understanding, the request will be submitted to the government to call an all-party meeting.