KOZHIKODE: Wayanad witnessed a bizarre and violent incident on Friday evening when an SFI protest march on an issue of low priority for student community took an unplanned turn. It is learnt the uncontrolled enthusiasm of SFI workers and the ill-preparedness of the police triggered the attack on MP Rahul Gandhi’s office at Kalpetta. Though the police was aware of the SFI district committee organising a march towards the MP’s office, they were not prepared for the protesters’ entry to the office and the subsequent violence, said a source.
The rally of more than 100 SFI workers, including girls, reached the MP’s office at Kainatty at Kalpetta by 3pm. The protesters were holding a plantain tree and the plan was to put it up in front of the MP’s office, with the police expected to block them at the entrance and disperse the rally. But sources said there were only a handful of cops, that too without barricades. Nor did they make any attempt to block the students.
Hence, an overzealous bunch of protesters barged into the Wayanad MP’s office functioning on the second-floor of the three-storey building. The protesters then went berserk, severely beat up a staffer, Augustine Pulpally, and smashed glass and furniture, the source said. Soon, a bewildered police rushed to the scene and what followed was total chaos. Hearing the news, Congress workers also rushed to the spot, followed by more SFI and DYFI men, leading to a lathicharge.
“What the SFI district committee had apprised the CPM district leadership was that they would conduct a protest rally to the MP’s office, and the party had given the nod. The rest of the incidents were unplanned,” said a source in the CPM.
The Congress workers vented their ire against the police by marching to the Police Superintendent’s office, snatching and throwing away the headgear and lathis of police personnel. The police were completely on their back foot, taking care not to provoke the Congress and Youth Congress workers.