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Satyagraha, rallies mark protest day in Thiruvalla

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ACTION, REACTION: Scenes from the police action against the march staged by the All-India Students’ Federation to MACFAST in Thiruvalla on Wednesday. —
ACTION, REACTION: Scenes from the police action against the march staged by the All-India Students’ Federation to MACFAST in Thiruvalla on Wednesday. —

Staff Reporter

SFI, AISF and DYFI take out marches to MACFAST

PATHANAMTHITTA: Thiruvalla witnessed protest rallies by opposing groups, satyagraha by priests and the faithful, and police action against All-India Students Federation (AISF) activists on Wednesday following Tuesday’s attack by a group of Students Federation of India (SFI) activists on Mar Athanasios College For Advanced Studies, Thiruvalla (MACFAST).

Activists of the SFI and AISF took out separate marches to MACFAST in the forenoon, demanding criminal proceedings against the college management in the backdrop of the death of Sumi Surendran, a first semester MCA student who committed suicide at her residence at Chavara in Kollam district on Monday.

Church protest

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Syro Malankara Catholic Church organised a satyagraha in Thiruvalla town, condemning the attack on the college as well as a bus belonged to the Pushpagiri Medical College run by the church by a group of miscreants.

Priests, believers, staff and students of MACFAST and various other institutions run by the Church took out a protest rally in the town. The rally was inaugurated by Changanassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Perunthottom.

Metropolitan Archbishop of Thiruvalla Thomas Mar Koorilos led the rally. Hundreds of people carrying placards decrying the attack participated in the rally that culminated in Thiruvalla town.

Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis Catholicos inaugurated the satyagraha held at a specially erected pandal, near the KSRTC bus station.

Addressing the inaugural meet, the Catholicos warned the government of stern resistance towards any future attack or malicious campaign against the church and institutions run by it.

M.M. Hassan, former Minister, alleged that the attack on MACFAST once again proved that all sorts of anti-democratic forces flourished under the Left Democratic Front rule.

He said the latest episode of violence in Thiruvalla was part of the CPI(M) tactics of suppressing the opponents ‘misusing’ power.

Kerala Congress(M) general secretary Joseph M. Puthusserry, MLA, alleged there was every reason to suspect that the attack on the college was with the knowledge of responsible quarters in the government.

The satyagraha came to a close at 4 p.m.

March turns violent

A march taken out by AISF activists to MACFAST, demanding criminal action against the college management, was blocked by the police en route.

The protestors staged a sit-in on the road and raised slogans against the management and the Principal.

The protest took a violent turn when some activists tried to break the police cordon. A total of eight persons, including Aranmula Sub-Inspector S. Nandakumar, were injured in the melee.

The police arrested 23 AISF-AIYF activists in connection with the incident.

SFI to continue stir

The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and SFI activists also staged a protest march to the MACFAST.

The march was blocked by the police about 300 metres away from the college. SFI State joint secretary Roshan Roy Mathew inaugurated the protest meeting.

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