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SFI march turns violent in Kollam

Staff Reporter
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Protest against bus fare hike; 6 policemen, 6 students injured

CLASH:The police removing a Students Federation of India activist who tried to block the road at Taluk Office Junction in Kollam on Thursday.— Photo: C. Suresh Kumar
CLASH:The police removing a Students Federation of India activist who tried to block the road at Taluk Office Junction in Kollam on Thursday.— Photo: C. Suresh Kumar

A march taken out by activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI) here on Thursday in protest against the bus fare hike turned violent.

Six policemen, including an assistant sub inspector, and six SFI activists were injured in the incident.

All those injured have been hospitalised. The police arrested 20 SFI activists in connection with the violence. They were produced before a magistrate court in the evening and remanded to the District Jail for 14 days. In addition to lathi-charge, the police fired teargas shells to bring the situation under control.

By 11 a.m., about 200 SFI activists began their protest march from the S.N. College premises. They planned a dharna in front of the Taluk Office almost two km away. A strong police team led by Assistant Commissioner of Police B. Krishnakumar and circle inspector V. Sugathan cordoned off the Taluk Office complex by putting up barricades.

The SFI activists turned violent and charged at the police while trying to breach the barricade. This compelled the police to chase away the demonstrators.

A group of SFI activists then ganged up and began throwing stones at the police injuring six of them. The police then resorted to lathi-charge and fired teargas shells to bring the situation under control. Several police vehicles were damaged in the stone throwing.

The police said that those arrested were SFI activists who had engaged in stone throwing. The injured ASI was identified as Sudarasanan. Some SFI students who then squatted on the road to register their protest against the police action were forcefully removed. Traffic on the Chinnakada-Collectorate road was affected for more than 45 minutes.

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