Staff Reporter

Tension following alleged assault of student by police

Irate people block Kottarakara-Puthur RoadStones hurled at police team

KOLLAM: Tension prevailed in Kottarakara town on Friday following the alleged assault of a school student by a police team.

The student, Arif, was admitted to the Kottarakara Taluk Hospital with injuries. As the news spread, a huge crowd of people gathered in the town and blocked the busy Kottarakara-Puthur Road from 5.30 p.m.

When the blockade continued till 7.30 p.m., the police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the people. The demonstrators retaliated by hurling stones at the police. A team led by Kollam SP Santosh Varma rushed with reinforcements to Kottarakara. According to reports received from the town at 8 p.m., the police had launched a massive search operation to book those who had attacked the police. There were reports that the police barged into several houses as part of the search operation.

According to eyewitness accounts, several demonstrators were injured in the lathicharge. A few policemen were also injured in the stone-throwing. By 8 p.m. a huge police posse had taken control of the township. Shops downed shutters when the lathicharge began.

According to an eyewitness, the police were maintaining vigil in Muslim Street area following complaints of sexual harassment of women. Arif, who was standing by the roadside, witnessed the police tow away a motorcycle suspected to belong to one of the eve teasers. When the owner arrived and enquired about the bike, Arif pointed to the police jeep. This apparently enraged the police personnel who assaulted Arif. Hospital authorities, when contacted, said Arif's condition was serious.