The police used teargas and lathis to disperse violent locals who took out a protest march from Thiruvannur to Panniyankara police station on Sunday evening over the death of two youths in a road accident. The youths were killed during a ‘helmet hunting’ drive of the police on Saturday night. Five police officials, many locals and mediapersons including cameramen of TV channels were injured in the violence.
Vehicles including a police jeep were vandalised by the protestors. The police informed that a Civil Police Officer with the Rapid Action Force Team, Ajeesh Kumar, and Civil Police Officers with AR Camp Preman, Sijtith, Jayan and Ragesh suffered injuries. City Police Commissioner G Sparjan Kumar has ordered an inquiry by the Deputy Commissioner of Police into the incident. District Collector K V Mohan Kumar has called an all-party meeting at the District Collectorate at 11 pm on Monday. “Whatever happened on Saturday is unfortunate. An inquiry has been ordered and action will be taken as per the final report,” said the collector. ADGP North Zone Shanker Reddy visited the spot and reviewed the situation, who assured that the situation was under control.
The protests, which commenced on Saturday night demanding immediate action against the cops, gathered momentum after the burial of the deceased at Mannari crematorium on Sunday afternoon.
Locals and friends and relatives of the victims blocked the Kallayi-Mankavu road and Mavoor- Thiruvannur road for hours. Electric posts, burning tyres and logs were placed on the road to block vehicular movement. Later, the protestors laid siege to the Panniyankara Police Station around 6 pm demanding an end to the ‘helmet hunts’ during late hours.
Some of the agitators pelted stones at the station and the police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the agitators. Vehicular movement on the road was hindered for around five hours.
Tension prevailed late in the area in the night and a team of officials led by Commissioner G Sparjan Kumar is camping there. The commissioner had transferred Panniyankara SI Anilkumar, who led the checking, soon after the incident. However, the protesters were demanding suspension and stringent actions against all the officials involved in the incident.
Meanwhile, the Panniyankara police registered a case for rioting and destruction of public property against a group of the agitators, and took seven persons into custody. Mahesh, 28, of Ulisserykunnu, and Rajesh, 24, were the victims of the road accident involving their bike and a KSRTC bus took place at Thiruvannur around 9 pm on Saturday.
The mishap occurred as the bike rider, who was not wearing helmet, tried to evade a routine police checking and veered into the path of the KSRTC bus. The traffic police tried to stop them but the panicked youth lost control of the vehicle, leading to a collision with the bus. Irate local people vandalised the bus and blocked the road after the incident on Saturday night, leading to police lathicharge.