Violent scenes were witnessed at the MES Raja Residential School, Kalanthode near Chathamangalam in the district, where the entrance examination for admission to the member colleges of the Kerala Private Medical College Management Association (KPMCMA) was held on Friday amidst strong protest from different students’ organisations.
Two students including T.P. Bineesh, State unit secretary of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and two police personnel were injured in the clash between the police and the protesting students that culminated in the police using lathi and tear-gas to chase away the protesters.
The entrance examination, however, was held under heavy police protection at the school. KPMCMA state secretary Anilkumar Vallil told The Hindu that as many as 934 out of 1,319 students who had applied for the entrance took the test. According to him, the examination was held to the 315 medical seats in eight colleges under the association.
Different students’ organisations including the Kerala Students’ Union (KSU), All India Students Federation (AISF) and Students’ Islamic Organisation (SIO) had on Thursday threatened to disrupt the examination alleging malpractices including advance distribution of question papers by the private medical college management authorities to a section of the prospective candidates, who were to take the test on Friday.
The agitation started on Friday morning when a group of around 35 KSU workers took out a march to the venue of the examination, the gate of which was blocked by the police since morning. The protesters, who entered the school premises breaking through the police barricade, created disorder on the campus destroying a few flower pots and shouting slogans. They were soon arrested and removed by the police.
It was then the turn of the SIO workers to take out a march to the venue of the examination. A group of 30 of them attempted to break the police cordon shouting slogans against the ‘commercialisation of education’ and the ‘flawed education policies of the government,’ only to be removed by the police soon. It was followed by a protest march taken out by the ABVP workers, who were also arrested by the police immediately.
The protest assumed a violent nature when the SFI led by Mr. Bineesh and the AISF workers headed by its State secretary K. Rajan appeared on the scene. At one point, the workers of the two Left wing students’ movement themselves appeared to clash with each other in an attempt to establish their supremacy. However, it soon snowballed into a joint battle against the blockading police personnel.
As the situation appeared to slip out of their hands, the police resorted to canning and throwing teargas shells at the protesters, who tried to take on the force throwing stones from different vantage points. Mr. Bineesh and a few others were injured during the violence. They were soon taken to the government hospital here.
The protesters were shortly arrested and removed by the police. Some of the arrested students broke partially the window pane of a police van in which they were about to be removed. A section of the SFI students then created a blockade at the Kalanthode town sitting on the road and shouting slogans against the police and the government.
The protestors blocked the Kozhikode-Mukkom road at Kalanthode for nearly two hours bringing the vehicular traffic in the area to a complete halt. In the meanwhile, the students who had turned up to attend the examination scheduled to take place at 2.30 p.m. from far-off places were seen sneaking into the school premises escorted by the police.