Traffic blocked for hours seeking arrests

February 23, 2018 11:56 pm | Updated February 24, 2018 07:38 pm IST - Attappad

 Protesters blockade the main highway in Agali in Attappady near the local police station, demanding the arrest of those who had beaten a tribal youth to death.

Protesters blockade the main highway in Agali in Attappady near the local police station, demanding the arrest of those who had beaten a tribal youth to death.

Vehicular traffic in the busy Mannarkkad-Coimbatore highway was disrupted for several hours on Friday when protesters blocked the road demanding arrest of all those responsible for beating tribal youth A. Madhu of Kadukumanna hamlet in Attappady to death after accusing him of shoplifting.

Madhu’s body was taken to Government Medical College Hospital in Thrissur for autopsy in the afternoon after holding conciliatory talks with the protesters and activists at the Government Hospital in Agali. The protesters said they would not allow the body to be taken from there without arresting all those who responsible for the youth’s death.

Hunger strike

The protesters, numbering around thousand, organised dharna before the Agali hospital and the local police station for several hours disrupting traffic. Two leaders of the Attappady Adivasi Samrakshna Samithy would go on an indefinite hunger strike from Saturday morning demanding the arrest of all the accused.

It was after the police convinced the agitators that P.P. Abdul Kareem and K. Hussain of Mukkali village had already been arrested and five others taken into custody that they ended the blockade. Madhu’s body was taken to Thrissur to ensure the presence of a police surgeon during autopsy. Madhu’s sister Sarasu, who took part in the road rokho, was admitted to Government Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara after she fainted. Abdul Kareem runs the grocery shop from where Madhu allegedly stole rice. Hussain is Kareem’s aide.

Hartal today

Meanwhile, both the opposition United Democratic Front and the BJP have called for separate dawn-to-dusk hartals in Mannarkkad taluk on Saturday alleging lapses on the part of the State government in nabbing the accused.

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