The police on Thursday arrested Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samara Samithi president S Burhan for his alleged involvement in the mass agitation against garbage transportation to the Vilappilsala garbage treatment plant on August 3.
Burhan, the seventh person to be arrested in connection with the incident, was taken into custody from PMG Junction in the city around 1 pm while he was heading to his workplace on a motorbike.
The police team led by Nedumangad DySP Muhammed Shafi took the Samithi leader to the Valiyamala police station, where he was housed before being produced in the court in the evening.
Burhan was arrested on a couple of charges registered at the Vilappilsala police station, including damaging public property and preventing police and district administration officials from implementing the court verdict.
‘’He was taken to Valiyamala station to avoid any untoward incidents if brought to Vilappilsala,’’ police sources said. A top official also hinted that the arrests would continue in the days to come.
The Samara Samithi took out a protest march at Vilappilsala in the evening against the arrests. Hundreds took part in the march, which started from Nedumkuzhi and ended at Vilappilsala around 6 pm. Samithi leaders, including convenor Subhash, addressed the meeting that followed.
Meanwhile, the Congress-led Vilappilsala Panchayat has conveyed its apprehensions over the police action to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Though the panchayat council was given an appointment to meet the Home Minister on Thursday evening, it was cancelled later.
Fund for Legal Aid
An all-party meeting held at Vilappilsala Panchayat on Thursday decided to form a legal aid fund for helping those arrested in connection with the strike.
As the agitators have been held for damaging public property, among other charges, they could be bailed out only after producing surety.
Panchayat president G Sobhana Kumari said that money would be collected through house visits in the panchayat and by way of donations from sympathisers.
The fund will be managed by a three-member committee comprising Sobhana Kumari, CPM member Azeez and BJP member Vallimangalam Chandran. It is learnt that the meeting has decided to collect around ` 10 lakh in the initial phase.