Stage sit-in, shout slogans seeking the resignation of Chief Minister over solar scam

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday stepped up its agitation demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy over the solar scam by staging a novel protest with all its activists donned in black near the Central Stadium here.

The protest, led by former district panchayat president and CPI(M) leader Anavoor Nagappan, had about 80 activists of the CPI(M), including several people’s representatives.

The protesters assembled near the SMSM Institute around 6.30 p.m. in order to proceed towards the Central Stadium, where Mr. Chandy was slated to formally launch the weeklong State-level Onam celebrations of the Tourism Department.

The protesters were however blocked en route by the police, after which they staged a sit-in there, raising slogans and demanding Mr. Chandy’s resignation.

Case registered

They were arrested and removed to the Cantonment Police Station, where they were let off on bail. The police said a case was registered against 76 persons, including women, for obstructing traffic.

The protest, CPI(M) district secretary Kadakampally Surendran had announced earlier this week, was to be held in a peaceful manner without disrupting the Onam function.

It was part of the CPI(M)’s continuing agitation in connection with the solar scam and had taken a twist late last month when a Sub-Inspector of Police (grade) Vijayadas was alleged to have physically assaulted a party worker, D. Jayaprasad, during a protest against Mr. Chandy at Anayara.

The CPI(M) was planning to step up its agitation on the solar scam issue along with the ongoing indefinite dharna by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) at the Martyrs’ Square, Palayam, which was in protest against the Union and State governments’ neglect towards development of Thiruvananthapuram district.

The dharna had completed 72 days and the LDF would stage road blockades at 1,000 centres on September 28 to mark the 90th day of the strike.