Five injured, two arrested; over 20 KSRTC buses damaged

The strike by pro-Left government employees and teachers and workers of public utilities, including the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), on Tuesday saw several persons being manhandled, five persons injured, a school headmaster doused with used engine oil, and over 20 KSRTC buses damaged, apart from the inconvenience that the public was put to in the State capital.

The police, both in the city and in the rural circles, have registered at least 13 cases, and two persons had been arrested when reports last came in. In the city, the trail of destruction and damage to public property began early on Tuesday, when unidentified miscreants tore apart tyres of five KSRTC buses and cut the starter wires of 12 buses that were parked at the KSRTC garage at East Fort. The Fort police have registered a case in this connection.

The Peroorkada police have registered two separate cases in connection with the manhandling of two persons who attempted to appear for duty at the Kudappanakkunnu Civil Station. The employees were also threatened with dire consequences.

The Museum police registered two cases, one in connection with the thrashing of a KSRTC employee by protesters and the other pertaining to an employee being obstructed from appearing for duty.

In the suburbs, which fall under the rural police circles, two persons were arrested by the Pothencode police for manhandling Vincent Das, a physical education teacher who turned up for duty at Government High School, Ayiroopara. The accused, Kaviraj and Praveen, were later let off on bail.

Principal not spared

In the Kattakada police station limits, the Principal of Government High School, Kulathinkal, saw used engine oil being poured over his head for attempting to run the school, while at Government Higher Secondary School, Poovachira, dung water was splashed all over the staff room. The Kattakada police are on the lookout for persons who threw stones at and shattered the windscreen of a Parassala-Kattakada KSRTC bus near Charupara around 7 a.m. Three cases have been registered.

At the Malayinkeezh ITI, a teacher, Satyapalan, had to be taken to the General Hospital with injuries after he was pushed into a ditch on the institution premises by protesters. Two persons who attempted to help Satyapalan too were beaten up. At the Anthiyoorkonam junction, also under the Malayinkeezh police station limits, four persons on two-wheelers stopped the Neyyar Dam-Kumily Super Express bus around 6.30 a.m. and shattered its windscreen and rear windows. An East Fort-bound bus was blocked and its windscreen broken with stones at the Moolakonam junction, near Marannalloor, at 6.30 a.m., while a Neyyattinkara-bound KSRTC bus was stopped and its windows shattered near the Marannalloor stadium.

While officials of the Kerala Water Authority said water supply was not affected much in the wake of the utility’s employees joining the strike, the functioning of the Public Service Commission was hit hard, with 1,207 employees of a total of 1,608 not turning up for work even by noon. The attendance percentage of employees in offices in Thiruvananthapuram district was pegged at 62.97 per cent.