Micheal Levitt
Micheal Levitt Image Credit: Twitter

Kottayam (Kerala): The claim by trade union leaders of having exempted the tourism sector from Wednesday's nationwide protest failed to materialise, giving a taste of the strike to Kerala state guests - the Nobel laureate Micheal Levitt and his wife - when they were left stranded on a houseboat ride.

Seventy-two year old Levitt, winner of the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 2013, was travelling on a houseboat in the lush backwaters near here, when his boat ride could not proceed owing to the strike .

Levitt, along with his wife had started the day's journey from Kumarakom in the morning, but, around 11 a.m, their boat was stopped from plying by those taking part in the protests.

It was only two hours after the boatmen informed the authorities of the stoppage that Levitt and his wife could resume their journey and return later to Kumarakom.

Condemning the incident state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran later told the media that tough action would be taken against those who had disrupted the state guests' boat ride.

"This was done by some anti-social elements and action would be coming soon. He (Levitt) was in the state to take part in programmes of the state government and was a state guest. A police probe will also be conducted to ascertain if there were any lapses in security," Surendran said.