Student outfits protest over Plus-I seat shortage in Malabar

The state government failed to ensure admission of many students even after the third allotment, says SFI; Minister Sivankutty to hold a meeting with student union leaders today
Police personnel block protesters led by the KSU Idukki district committee during a march to the DDE office in Thodupuzha 
over the alleged Plus-I seat shortage on Monday
Police personnel block protesters led by the KSU Idukki district committee during a march to the DDE office in Thodupuzha over the alleged Plus-I seat shortage on Monday Photo | Shiyami

MALAPPURAM: Various student outfits are protesting over the shortage of Plus-I seats in the Malabar region. The Students Federation of India (SFI) protested against the CPM-led state government over the issue in Malappuram on Monday. The workers took out a march from Malappuram town to the collectorate.

Inaugurating the protest, SFI national committee member E Afsal said that the SFI decided to organise the protest after the state government failed to give admissions to many students in the district even after the third allotment. “Since the SSLC results were announced, the SFI had asked General Education Minister V Sivankutty to solve the Plus-I seat shortage in the Malabar region. At that time, the minister said the protests by other students’ unions were politically motivated, emphasising that additional batches will be allotted if there was a shortage of seats after the third allotment. However, he went back on his word, forcing the SFI to take out this protest march,” he said.

At the same time, Afsal said the data being circulated by the Muslim Students Federation (MSF) related to the Plus-I seat shortage was wrong. “According to the MSF, around 30,000 students in Malappuram didn’t get seats to Plus-I this year. However, that data is wrong."

KSU workers huddle as police use water cannons near the assembly building in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday during a protest
KSU workers huddle as police use water cannons near the assembly building in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday during a protest Photo | B P Deepu

Meanwhile, the MSF’s protest by locking the office of the higher secondary education regional deputy director at the district collectorate entered its fifth day on Monday. MSF members, including women, took part in the protest. MSF leaders, who were blocked by the police from entering the office, were later taken into police custody.

The Fraternity Movement leaders also staged a road blockade at Malappuram town, urging the government to resolve the seat shortage. Vehicular traffic through the area was disrupted for 15 minutes due to the protest. Meanwhile, Sivankutty will be holding discussions with the student union leaders on Tuesday in connection with the seat shortage issue.

KSU calls ‘edu bandh’ today, min lashes out

Thiruvananthapuram: The KSU has called a statewide ‘education bandh’ in all educational institutions, including professional colleges, on Tuesday against the government’s refusal to address Plus-I seat shortage and the alleged police action against its activists during protests across the state on Monday. General Education Minister V Sivankutty, however, said the KSU’s call for bandh was “against the student community”, and urged the public to reject the same. “The KSU’s call for a bandh, ahead of talks with the government on Plus-I seats, showed its lack of sincerity,” he said.

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