A march by the Kerala Students Union (KSU) to the District Collectorate here on Wednesday, protesting against the Left Democratic Front government's autonomous education policy, turned violent after the police caned the protesters.
Several KSU activists were injured and 30 of them, including National Students Union (NSU) national secretary S. Sharath, KSU district president Tintu Stephen and district secretaries A.R. Kannan and George M. Srambickal were arrested.
The march, which began at 12 p.m., was stopped outside the collectorate by the police, following which Mr. Sharath inaugurated it near the gates of the collectorate. However, a few activists scaled the compound wall during the speech and the policemen inside the collectorate compound caned them. This provoked the rest of the activists, who also barged into the compound, leading to the entire police posse present there lathicharging the protestors.
In between, attempts of the police to arrest Ms. Stephen triggered another protest, with the activists demanding that only women constables should arrest her. The others, meanwhile, were taken to the AR Camp, which again led to protests. Deputy Superintendent of Police (Alappuzha) B. Ravindra Prasad reached the spot and pacified the protesters by shifting the arrested to the Alappuzha South police station.
Those arrested were later let off on bail, while the injured have been admitted to the Alappuzha Medical College Hospital.