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16 KSU activists and 5 police officers injured in confrontation with the Secretariat | India News

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THIRUVANTHAPURAM: A protest march led by the Kerala Students’ Union (KSU) to the Secretariat in support of the ongoing agitation of rank-and-file PSC holders turned violent on Thursday, with police officers and activists clashing with each other. Up to 21 people, including five police officers, were injured in clashes that lasted almost 45 minutes.
The chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, alleged that the violence was the result of a conspiracy. “The police showed the utmost restraint even after they were brutally attacked. The aim of the protesters was to provoke the police, “he said at the inaugural function of the village roads renovated under the local body’s road renovation project.” They want to divert attention from the government’s development activities, “he alleged.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy criticized the police action against the KSU workers and said the government was trying to quell the student protest with violence. “The government will soon have to surrender to the wave of protests,” he said. The LDF and the CPM secretary of state alleged that Congress was trying to unleash law and order problems in the state by using the protest of the PSC rank-and-file holders as an opportunity.
Case against 50 KSU activists
The protest march, led by KSU state president KM Abhijith, was peaceful until KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran inaugurated it.
It became violent around 2 pm when the students tried to force their way into the Secretariat and the police retaliated with latex charges and water cannons.
A large number of police personnel were present at the site after intelligence reports hinted at the possibility of violence.
KSU State Vice President Sneha and General Secretary Bahul Krishna suffered head injuries, while Abhijith and District President Seydali were among those injured. KSU workers retaliated for the police action using flag poles. They alleged that there were no female police officers to deal with the protesters and the policemen resorted to verbal abuse against the women.
Among the injured were five police officers, including the AC KL Sajimon cantonment and the AC K Sadan control room.
Protesters also looted a pandal erected by members of the Kumbhara community in front of the Secretariat.
The police have registered cases against 50 KSU activists who can be identified, while non-bail charges have been invoked against 10 of them. The State President of the Youth Congress, Shafi Parambil, and Vice President KS Sabarinadhan, alleged that the police personnel had even removed the names of the uniforms from the uniforms so that they could not be identified.
The MLAs whose fast entered on the fifth day said their protest would continue.
Earlier in the march, Mullappally Ramachandran said that it was Kannur’s lobby at CPM that put together the backdoor appointment list, and thousands have been appointed without going through all the rules and regulations.
He said the prime minister should reveal the actual number of such appointments.
The KSU has called for protests in all constituencies of the assembly on Friday against police brutality.

Times of India

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