KERALA

ABVP march turns violent

: Nine activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) sustained injuries in police action after a march taken out by the ABVP to the Secretariat on Wednesday turned violent. The agitators were demanding a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and the arrest of People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Nasir Maudany.

Violence erupted at around 12 noon when a section of demonstrators hurled stones at the police force stationed at the main gate of the Secretariat. They tried to break the police barricade. The police trained the water cannon on the protesters and lobbed teargas shells to disperse them. They later cane-charged the agitators.

A tense situation prevailed on the arterial road for over 15 minutes as the police and the Home Guards attempted to forcibly arrest the injured activists and shift them to the station.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders later intervened to shift the injured from the A.R camp to the General Hospital. At the General Hospital also, the police and BJP, ABVP activists entered into an altercation over delay in providing medical aid to the injured and alleged inhuman treatment by the police. Later, the injured were shifted to the Medical College Hospital.

Five policemen sustained minor injuries in the incident, the police said. The Cantonment police have registered a case against 14 ABVP activists. Six of the arrested have been remanded.

Activists of the ABVP and the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha took out a march to the Secretariat in the evening in protest against the alleged high-handedness of the police and denial of medical aid to the injured.

Education bandh

The ABVP has called for an education bandh on Thursday in protest against the police action. Addressing a press conference, ABVP State secretary G.M. Mahesh and State joint secretary N.P. Shikha alleged that the police even used Home Guards to disperse the ABVP activists. “The Government should make it clear whether Kodiyeri Balakrishnan or PDP leader Mr. Maudany is the Home Minister,” he said.

BJP district president Karamana Jayan has demanded stern action against the police officials involved in the action and those who denied medical aid to the injured students. Mr. Jayan, in a statement, warned of a public agitation in the coming days to protest against the “moves by the government to protect Mr. Maudany.”

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