THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala on Saturday witnessed widespread protests by various opposition parties demanding the resignation of Minister K T Jaleel who was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case.
The protests by youth organisations of the BJP, Muslim League and Congress turned violent in many areas with police using water cannons and cane charging the protesters. Along with the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, clashes between police and protesters were also reported from Kollam, Kozhikode, Thrissur and Pathanamthitta.
In the capital, the Secretariat witnessed a series of protests led by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and Youth League. While water cannons were used against protesters of both outfits, grenade and tear gas shells were used against Yuva Morcha activists. Unmindful of the police action, the protesters stayed put on the road shouting slogans against the Minister. Later, Mahila Morcha workers also took out a protest march to the Secretariat.
In Kollam, the long march taken out by the Congress to the house of Minister Mercykutty Amma turned violent after police stopped the protesters. A Congress worker received injuries in the clash.
Kollam also saw fierce protests by Yuva Morcha activists who tried to break the barricade erected outside the Taluk Office. After a prolonged clash with the police which involved use of water cannons, the protesters dispersed.
In Kozhikode, Youth League workers took out a march to the City Police Commissioner's office while Youth Congress workers marched to the District Collectorate. Both the marches ended in clashes with the police.
Youth Congress workers took out a march to the Civil Station in Pathanamthita which was stopped by police. Attempts by protesters to break the police cordon ended in violence. In Thrissur, Yuva Morcha workers took out a march to the City Police Commissioner's office. Police used water cannons to disperse the protesters.
Yuva Morcha workers also staged a blockade of MC Road in Kottayam. They were arrested and removed by the police. Idukki also witnessed protests by Yuva Morcha workers who protested near the Civl Station at Thodupuzha. The protesters also blocked the Thodupuzha road for around 10 minutes. Yuva Morcha workers also staged protests in Malappuram.