Protests against police firing rock Assembly

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 15:27

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Assembly was adjourned Tuesday as the opposition Left took on the government over a police officer firing shots from his service revolver to disperse a protest over a student not being allowed to study at the Kozhikode Government Engineering College.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the firing episode Monday should never have happened and the government was expecting a report from the Director General of Police. However, the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) was furious and the Left members gathered near the Speaker`s podium to protest.

Chandy had taken up the case of the student -- who had some years ago made a ragging complaint against activists of the Students` Federation of India, the students wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) -- and recommended his admission to the college.

Seeking leave for an adjournment motion to discuss this issue, CPI-M`s Kozhikode legislator A Pradeep Kumar said Assistant Commissioner of Police Radhakrishna Pillai, who fired four rounds from his service revolver, should be suspended immediately.

Stating that the police officer had a "past", Kumar said: "He did not follow any procedure which a police official should have done before opening fire."

Responding, Chandy said: "The circumstances that led to the unpleasant scenes was the tough undemocratic stand taken by the activists of the Students Federation of India."

Explaining, he said, a fifth semester engineering student, Nirmal Madhavan, was not being allowed to study at the college.

In 2009, Madhavan got admission to the University Engineering College in Kozhikode and was subjected to a brutal ragging episode. Following his complaint, some SFI activists were charged under the anti-ragging act.

After that, he took a transfer to an engineering college near Alappuzha and here also he complained he was being threatened by SFI activists.

"This student then approached me. Seeing his plight, I decided to transfer him to a Government Engineering College in Kozhikode a few months back and soon the SFI started a strike. I then asked the district collector to appoint a technical committee to look into this... after two days again, the SFI started to strike and this led to the unpleasant episode yesterday," Chandy said in the Assembly.

Unhappy with the reply, the entire opposition stood up to demand immediate action against the police officer. Leader of Opposition VS Achuthanandan repeatedly asked Chandy to make a statement.

But Chandy only said that the government was waiting for the police report.

The tumult continued, forcing Speaker G Karthikeyan to run through the listed business for the day and adjourn the house for the day.

The opposition sat in the house shouting slogans for another hour before dispersing finally.

IANS



First Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 15:27

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