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UDF Lawmakers Disrupt Kerala Assembly over Police Action against MLA, Student Activists; Stage Walkout

The MLAs raised slogans in the House demanding action against police personnel who led the attack on their party colleague from Palakkad Shafi Parambil and activists of the Kerala Students’ Union (KSU).

Neethu Reghukumar | News18

Updated:November 20, 2019, 5:15 PM IST
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UDF Lawmakers Disrupt Kerala Assembly over Police Action against MLA, Student Activists; Stage Walkout
Police use water canon against Kerala Students Union activists during a protest in front of the Ernakulam Police Commissioner's office, in Kochi, Wednesday. (PTI)

Thiruvananthapuram: Lawmakers of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) came to the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday with placards, banners and a blood-stained vest to protest against the administration’s highhandedness in dealing with students and youth Congress leaders, including a party MLA, during an agitation on Tuesday.

The MLAs raised slogans in the House demanding action against police personnel who led the attack on their party colleague from Palakkad Shafi Parambil and activists of the Kerala Students’ Union (KSU).

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said an inquiry has to be initiated into the incident and the accused policemen should be suspended immediately.

After Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan denied permission for an adjournment motion, the UDF MLAs entered the well of the House, while four of them — Roji M john, Anwar Sadath, I C Balakrishnan and Eldos Kunnapilly — climbed on to the speaker’s dais and started raising slogans.

Even as two other members tried to pacify and bring the protesting MLAs down, the speaker stopped proceedings for a brief while and returned to his chamber.

While moving the adjournment motion, Congress MLA VT Balram said the police department, under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, has started behaving in an unrestrained manner and whatever happened on Tuesday was a result of excesses of the law enforcement agency.

Since the House assembled at 9am for question hour, the UDF MLAs were on their feet against the police lathicharge on KSU activists who were taking out a march to the Assembly demanding an independent probe into the Kerala University's alleged mark scam.

The students also wanted a CBI probe into the mysterious deaths of two Dalit sisters who were found hanging inside their house at Walayar in Palakkad.

The Congress MLAs continued to protest and disrupted question hour proceedings. Chennithala said a police personnel had bitten the hand of a KSU worker, adding Parambil and KSU leader Abijit were severely attacked with lathis. The MLA suffered head injuries, Chennithala said.

Industries Minister, EP Jayarajan, who spoke on behalf of the chief minister who was not present for a while, said police were prepared to take Parambil and other injured persons to hospital, but they had refused after which they were taken to the Armed Reserve camp.

He said that lathi charge was in response to violent attack from KSU protesters, adding there were several unsuccessful attempts at dispersing the protestors using water cannons and teargas shells.

Cantonment Police Station Assistant Commissioner and some other police personnel also suffered injuries, he said adding a case has been registered against 20-odd KSU activists. He said that several police personnel have also been injured.

The home department has asked the additional chief secretary to probe into the violent incidents during the KSU assembly march on Tuesday, Jayarajan said, adding hence there was no need to stop proceedings and discuss the issue.

The UDF members then walked out of the house in protest. The Speaker later adjourned the house after rushing through other business.

Meanwhile, KSU activists took out a march to the Kerala University protesting against the police action, while Congress workers took out a march to the Assembly. Police used water cannons and lathis to disperse the march in which some people were injured.

(With inputs from PTI)

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