KERALA

P.C. Thomas hurt in police action in Kottayam

Staff Reporter

KOTTAYAM: Indian Federal Democratic Party (IFDP) leader and Muvattupuzha MP P.C. Thomas was injured in police action while leading an agitation to `clean up' the Kottayam Collectorate using cow-dung in the wake of the report that the Revenue Department is the most corrupt department in the State.

IFDP activists led by Mr. Thomas and former MP Scaria Thomas had assembled at Ascension Church Junction near the Collectorate by 11.30 a.m. for the agitation. By noon, the leaders moved to the main gate of the Collectorate with the activists following them cautiously. Mr. Thomas and his colleagues, in an act of defiance, jumped on to the closed gates of the main entrance, creating a tense situation.

The police, under the leadership of Dy.SP Muraleedharan Nair, who were posted on the spot, tried to pull down the agitators from the gates. This was opposed by the leaders and soon violence broke out, with the police chasing the activists. A policeman was seen holding the MP, who later took on the policeman. In the melee, Mr. Thomas received blows on his back and more than 25 IFDP activists were injured in the police action. Mr. Thomas and his close associates were later removed to Kottayam (East) police station and released in the evening. Mr. Thomas has been admitted to

the Kottayam District Hospital.

Hartal in Kottayam today

The Kottayam district unit of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has called for a hartal in the district on Monday in protest against the police action against the IFDP agitation in which P.C. Thomas, MP, was injured.

In a release on Saturday, BJP district president K.G. Rajmohan and IFDP district president Graceamma Mathew said the hartal was in protest against the unilateral action on the part of the

police, which according to them was without any provocation from the agitating activists. The leaders also sought a judicial inquiry into the issue.

The hartal will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the release said.

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