A demonstration organised by the Students Federation of India (SFI) on the Mahatma Gandhi University campus on Wednesday turned violent.
The march was taken out raising various demands, including withdrawal of a move to hike fees of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The demonstration commenced around 11 a.m. from the university union office. Nearly 100 activists participated in the march, which was blocked in front of the administrative block.
However, an argument between the activists and the police paved way for a scuffle, following which the police lathicharged the group of students. While SFI leaders said they were attacked by the police without provocation, the police claimed that the activists came to foment trouble.
Sixteen persons, including four police personnel, were injured in the violence. The 12 SFI activists who were injured included district secretary T.S. Sarath and Vaikom area president T.M. Govind. The injured were admitted to the Kottayam Medical College Hospital and the District Hospital.
However, stones were thrown from various directions and ten vehicles, including four police vehicles, official vehicle of the Vice-Chancellor and those belonging to varsity employees, suffered damage.