Kochi: Coming down hard on Congress workers who held a hartal (bandh) on February 18 in view of two Youth Congress workers being killed, the Kerala high court has directed the accused Congress workers to cough up money in relation to the losses incurred during the hartal.

It might be recalled that the hartal which was organised in Kerala’s Kasargod district eventually spread across the state. The hartal was initially called by UDF workers, but Youth Congress leaders extended it to mark their grievance over the killing of fellow party workers.

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The court also directed the police to file a case against Dean Kuriakose, state chief of Youth Congress and Kasargod UDF chairman MC Kamrudeen and convener Govindan Nair, the protagonists in the entire hartal issue.

The court took into consideration the humongous loss of Rs 1.10 lakh suffered by KSRTC on the day of protests and a special group has been formed to dig deeper and inform the court about the total loss.

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The Kerala high court took suo moto cognisance of the hartal organised and the held the accused to be in contempt of court. As per an earlier court ruling, a hartal could only be organised with a prior intimation or notice of a week.

Meanwhile, the state government informed the high court that there were widespread damages across the state and the men responsible for it were none other than the ones the court held accountable.

However, the accused have outright refused the charges made by the state government.