Several injured in Kerala protests


Staff member
Thiruvananthapuram: Street battles continued for the second day on Wednesday in Kerala over the state education policy, as activists of the Left parties' student organisations clashed with police in the state capital.

At least two dozen activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Youth Federation (AIYF), and about a dozen policemen were injured when Left activists clashed with police at the state secretariat and near the state assembly building.

A few of the protesters injured in the clashes were seen bleeding from the head. Among those injured was R. Rajesh, MLA.

While police strained to prevent SFI activists from entering the state secretariat, the force had to battle students on another front when the students pelted stones at police from inside the University College premises. Police had to use tear gas to bring the situation under control.

Police also had to use tear gas, and a baton charge to disperse protesters who marched to the assembly building.

Left activists have been protesting the state government's education policy even as the government is wedged between the interests of student organisations and the managements of private self-financing professional colleges.

The state government had decided to take over 50 per cent of the post graduate medical seats in the self-financing sector, but the High Court stayed the move.

According to the norms fixed by the Medical Council of India, the state government should have forwarded the list of students to fill 50 per cent of the seats allotted to the government for post graduate courses by May 31.

The state government was not able to meet the deadline apparently because of a change of government in May, but Left parties feel there was collusion between the government and college managements in the matter.

On Tuesday, students of Left organisations were baton charged by police in Kochi when they agitated against alleged irregularities in admissions to private medical colleges.