In the wake of the Supreme Court awarding one-year rigorous imprisonment to the former Minister, R. Balakrishna Pillai, tension erupted in his home town of Kottarakara near here on Thursday evening.

The police said in clashes between United Democratic Front (UDF) and Left Democratic Front (LDF) activists, 20 UDF activists suffered minor injuries. Trouble began with LDF activists organising a “victory procession” through the town hailing the Supreme Court verdict.

When that procession was over, UDF workers held a counter procession through the town condemning the verdict and burnt the effigy of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

Enraged by the act, LDF activists attacked UDF activists who were returning after the protest. More than 11 UDF activists were injured in the attack but none of them were hospitalised. Among those injured is UDF district convener B. Harikumar. Alleging that the police stood mute spectators to the LDF attack, UDF activists then blocked the National Highway 208 at the Kottarakara Taluk Hospital junction. When this led to traffic congestion, a group of LDF activists chased them away.

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