The protest march led by a group of Students Islamic Organisation(SIO) activists turned violent when the police team led by Aluva SI P A Faisal tried to stop them from picketing at the gates of Nirmala Higher Secondary School here on Monday. The SIO activists were protesting against the school authorities’ action of not allowing Muslim students in the school to wear veils.
The police later arrested and removed a group of activists who tried to barge into the principal’s room. As it was the first day of the new academic year, lots of parents were also present at the school, attending the opening day ceremony. The protesters alleged that the management was taking an unreasonable stand though the government has allowed Muslim students to wear veils. They also alleged that the veil was important as their religion insisted on it.
The protest is said to be a spill over from last year’s protests at the school and the subsequent meetings at various centres in the town to discuss the issue. Various Muslim organisations and committees were at the forefront last year, but this time it appears to have been taken over by the SIO, giving vigour to the agitation.
Reports from various quarters say that several Christian organisations are also preparing to support the management, and indications are that the agitations would take a communal turn if more protests are going to take place.
It is learned that the school year opening ceremony was held under heavy police protection.