KSU demonstration turns violent

Published - July 09, 2024 09:40 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Police use force to disperse KSU activists  following their clash with police  during their Assembly march  for their charter of demands, in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

Police use force to disperse KSU activists following their clash with police during their Assembly march for their charter of demands, in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

The capital city turned a battleground when Kerala Students Union (KSU) activists clashed with the police during a demonstration raising a host of issues, leaving several people injured, on Tuesday.

The protest march taken out to the Legislative Assembly highlighted various issues including the alleged lack of Plus One seats, the hasty introduction of four-year undergraduate programmes, delay in providing e-grants and scholarships, university fee hikes, purported failure in appointing principals in several government colleges in the State, and the alleged violence unleashed by the Students Federation of India (SFI)

The demonstration, inaugurated by the Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan, was blocked by a large police posse using barricades. While the protesters attempted to scale the barricades and even topple them, the police resorted to the use of water cannons.

The KSU workers then hurled stones and beer bottles at the police, injuring at least three personnel. This prompted the police to lathi charge at the protesters. KSU State president Aloshious Xavier was among those injured in the skirmish.

The confrontation spilled onto the MG Road, where KSU activists regrouped near the College of Fine Arts. The stand-off disrupted traffic for over an hour, affecting commuters and others alike.

Addressing the protesters, Mr. Satheesan accused the government of shielding the SFI, whom he accused of intimidating its opponents with impunity. The SFI, he alleged, operated torture rooms to eliminate its rivals. A volatile atmosphere has gripped educational institutions, he added.

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