THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a major security breach, three SFI activists entered the Secretariat premises defying the police barricade during a march taken out by the students’ organisation that turned violent here on Wednesday.
The march was in protest against the government’s alleged move to sabotage the spot admissions for higher secondary courses in government schools and the alleged irregularities over the same. At least five activists were injured during the violence, including SFI state president V P Sanu and state secretary M Vigil. The injured were later shifted to Medical College Hospital and General Hospital. The other injured activists were identified as Rakesh and Jishnu, district committee members. The activists who entered the Secretariat premises were taken into police custody.
Nearly a hundred SFI activists had marched from University College campus around 11.30 am and they were stopped by the police with barricades in front of the Secretariat. Tension prevailed at the spot for around half-an-hour.
The protestors then tried to force their way into the Secretariat premises breaking the police cordon. When some of the protestors tried to pull down the iron barricade in front of the gate, three of them entered the premises by jumping over the wall. As things began going out of control, the police had to cane the activists and use water cannon, tear gas and grenades for dispersing the crowd.
A police official said that the police had retaliated when the protestors hurled stones at them and three protestors barged into the Secretariat premises. The official added that two protestors who had barged into the premises were injured when stones hurled by their comrades stationed outside fell on them.
However, the activists soon regrouped and staged a dharna in front of the main gate when V Sivankutty MLA arrived at the spot asking them to maintain restraint. Later, the group dispersed by 12.15 pm.
Meanwhile, SFI state committee office secretary Varun told ‘City Express’ that the police action was uncalled for and without any provocation. “The cops had attacked us all the way and it was a ‘wild act’ from them. We had not defied the blockade and three activists barging into the Secretariat was only incidental. It was not done by the activists deliberately and they might have entered the premises in the heat of the agitation. Here, the key issue is the lethargy and corruption of the government regarding the admission process of higher secondary and degree courses. However, we will stage a mass statewide protest day on Thursday in the wake of the police brutality,” he said.