The much-awaited opening of the second entrance to the Kannur Railway Station and the new ticket reservation counter on Friday was marred by protests by local Congress and Youth Congress workers against senior Southern Railway officers for allegedly not inviting local MP, MLAs and the Kannur municipality authorities to the function.

The newly constructed second entry to the Railway Station as well as reservation counters to be set up there was scheduled to be opened on Friday morning. Though the Railway authorities had not announced a formal function for the opening of the new entrance and the ticket counters, the inauguration of the new facilities was planned to coincide with the visit of the Southern Railway General Manager Deepak Krishna here. The Railway authorities here had also let it be known that the new facilities would be formally opened during the visit of Mr. Krishna.

Local Congress and Youth Congress workers who turned up at the Railway Station in the morning started raising slogans against Railway authorities for keeping away the people’s representatives from an important function at the Railway Station. The protestors then laid siege to the General Manager for some time before the leaders of the protestors were invited for talks. They told the General Manager that neither the people’s representatives nor the public were informed of the inauguration of the new facilities which should have been done in a grand function. They said that many of them came to know of the inaugural function through the media.

According to the protestors, the General Manager told them that no inaugural function was arranged in connection with the opening of the new entrance on the eastern side of the railway station and that he was on a routine inspection visit. Mr. Krishna also assured the protestors that the facilities would be inaugurated in a function to be attended by a Central Minister and the people’s representatives, they said, adding that the Railway official also told that the date of the inauguration would be decided after considering the convenience of the Minister.

Congress leaders T.O. Mohanan, Suma Balakrishnan, Muhammad Blathur, T. Jayakrishnan and Rijil Makutty were also among those who led the protest. Muslim League leaders including municipal vice-chairman C. Sameer and councilor T.K. Noushad were also present.

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