CPI MLA hurt in lathicharge, LDF majors in slugfest

Police, party activists clash as IG office march turns violent

The CPI and the CPI(M), the two major constituents of the ruling Left Democratic Front in Kerala, are at daggers drawn with Eldho Abraham, CPI legislator from Muvattupuzha, sustaining a forearm fracture and bruises on his back in police baton charge during a CPI protest march in the city on Tuesday.

The police used water cannon to disperse the protesters before resorting to caning.

Seven CPI leaders, including four members of its Ernakulam district executive committee, were admitted to a private hospital while three policemen, including Assistant Commissioner K. Lalji, sought admission at the general hospital following the face-off. CPI district secretary K. Raju suffered an injury on his head.

The CPI had taken out the march to the Inspector General’s office demanding action against the police inspector of Njarakkal, M.K. Murali.

Charge against inspector

The inspector was accused of being lenient to a group of DYFI and SFI activists, who allegedly accosted and waylaid Mr. Raju a few days ago when he visited Government Arts and Science College, Elankunnapuzha, Vypeen, in the wake of clashes between AISF and SFI activists there.

“Although we had brought it to the attention of the Chief Minister [who holds the Home portfolio], there was no action against the erring officer. That was why we took out a march,” said Mr. Abraham, adding that the police action was without any provocation. “The police are on the loose, with no government control over them,” he fumed.

While CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran sought to remain evasive on the issue initially, Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan was soon sent to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s residence to express the party’s dismay over the developments.

Report sought

Following this, Mr. Vijayan asked Ernakulam District Collector S. Suhas to carry out an inquiry and file a report on Tuesday’s clashes.

Mr. Raju told The Hindu that the issue of ‘breakdown of police administration’ would be raised at the next meeting of the LDF in the district. Before that, the district executive of the CPI would meet in Aluva on July 26 to chart the further course of action.

CPI(M) district secretary C.N. Mohanan said the CPI, being a member of the ruling coalition, should have first raised their issues with the police and with the DYFI, SFI activists at the LDF meeting before taking out a march against the police.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 7:55:10 AM |

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