Human rights panel urges Kerala govt to control processions, protests in Thiruvananthapuram

Almost every day, there would be one protest or the other in front of the Raj Bhavan, which throws traffic out of gear.
Representative image
Representative imagePhoto | Website

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) has come out with an order stating that processions and protests on main roads in Thiruvananthapuram should be controlled. The order comes after Anilkumar Pandala -- former managing director of the Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company (TRDCL), a concessionaire of the Kerala Road Fund Board -- lodged a complaint.

Anilkumar raised the issue after the streets of the capital city had come to a standstill in June 2023 when a mass run was organised coinciding with the International Olympic Day from 6.30 am onwards.

In the complaint, he highlighted that the authorities had not informed the public in advance that the Kowdiar-Vellayambalam stretch would be blocked, which saw the traffic going haywire. Almost every day, there would be one protest or the other in front of the Raj Bhavan, which throws traffic out of gear. The police would resort to diverting the traffic to the bylanes around Vellayambalam, adding to the woes.

KSHRC acting chairperson and judicial member K Baijunath, in his verdict released on Saturday, stated that vehicle owners and pedestrians have a harried time whenever processions and protests take place on the busy stretch.

“There have been instances of various organisations laying siege to important road stretches. Processions are also no different, which have also caused inconvenience to passengers. They have been asked to wait for several hours to resume the traffic,” Baijunath said in the order.

Anilkumar had also raised the pertinent issue of protesters taking over footpaths in front of Raj Bhavan. Whenever political parties lay siege to the Raj Bhavan, they arrange chairs on the footpath and sit there, causing hardship to pedestrians, he pointed out.

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