KOCHI: The protest march taken out by Youth Congress activists to NIA Office in Kochi where Minister for Higher Education KT Jaleel was quizzed, turned violent on Thursday when police forcibly blocked the protesters who attempted to pull down the barricades placed on K P Vallon Road.
Several activists sustained injuries in the melee. The activists held a sit-in on the road and raised slogans when they were blocked by the police. Meanwhile, a few attempted to jump the barricade and police blocked them triggering tension in the area. Congress leaders M R Abhilash, Mohammed Shiyas, Youth Congress leaders Asharaf Panayappilly and others took part in the protest.
The workers who protested in front of the NIA office were later arrested and removed. BJP- Yuva Morcha workers also took out a protest march to NIA office in the morning. According to BJP leaders, several workers including three women sustained injuries after police officials manhandled the workers who staged protest peacefully. BJP leader C G Rajagopal inaugurated the protest. The City Police had tightened security at NIA office after Minister Jaleel reached there in the morning. A large posse of police officials under DCP G Poonguzhali was deployed on the premises of NIA office at Giri Nagar. Police placed barricades on the road to the NIA office blocking entry of other vehicles. Two roads leading to the NIA office were also blocked with barricades.
Earlier, protesters had gathered in front of NIA office when gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh was taken for interrogation. The protesters also tried to barge into the office compound. Considering all these incidents, police provided high security at the NIA office and premises.