Youth Congress activist forces stoppage of Kerala Chief Minister’s cavalcade

A Youth Congress activist waving black flag at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan near the Ernakulam District Collectorate at Kakkanad on Friday.

A Youth Congress activist waving black flag at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan near the Ernakulam District Collectorate at Kakkanad on Friday. | Photo Credit: R.K. Nithin

In a major security breach, a Youth Congress (YC) activist jumped in front of the official car of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, forcing an unscheduled stoppage of the cavalcade near the Collectorate Junction in Kakkanad on Friday around 1 p.m.

Sony Pananthanam, Youth Congress Ernakulam Niyojaka Mandalam block general secretary, was arrested by the Thrikkakara police and removed from the spot making way for the cavalcade to resume its journey.

He was booked under IPC Sections 332 (committing voluntary harm or hurt to a public servant in order to deter him from doing his duties) and 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty) 353 (causing an obstruction in the duty of a public servant with the use of assault and criminal force with the intention to stop the public servant from performing his duty), among others. He was produced in court and remanded later in the night.

The incident took place when the Chief Minister was returning from the Government Press in Kakkanad after the inauguration of a new facility. Just as the first security vehicle of the cavalcade passed by and the Chief Minister’s car emerged, the activist who was till then standing near a shop beside the Thrikkakara Community Hall jumped in front of the vehicle.

The driver had to sway to the side and apply sudden brake to avoid knocking down the activist. The activist then pulled out a black flag, came to the side where the Chief Minister was seated and hit on the side window multiple times shouting slogans before a police official on duty in the area jumped over him bringing both of them to the ground. Both sustained minor injuries.

The breach of security despite throwing a security blanket over Kakkanad in view of the Chief Minister’s two functions there has raised quite a few eyebrows.

CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan condemned the alleged attack targeting the Chief Minister’s vehicle. The incident is proof of Congress’ intention to resort to violence using certain individuals. Earlier, the police had taken into preventive custody seven YC activists on the charge of planning to stage a protest waving black flag at the Chief Minister. This brought Uma Thomas, MLA, and Thrikkakara Municipality Chairperson Ajitha Thankappan to the Thrikkakara police station demanding their release. They were eventually released following consultations with the Deputy Commissioner of Police.

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Printable version | Aug 25, 2022 6:04:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/youth-congress-activist-forces-stoppage-of-kerala-chief-ministers-cavalcade/article65699437.ece