Congress student activists clash with Kerala police

June 19th, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, June 19 (IANS) Protests organised by the Kerala Students Union (KSU), affiliated with the state’s main opposition Congress party, to collectorates at Thrissur, Malappuram and Pathanamthitta turned violent Thursday resulting in injuries to participants as well as policemen. The KSU organised the marches to demand withdrawal of the Social Studies textbook for Class 7. The new textbook, KSU says, is being used by the left Democratic Front (LDF) government to spread communist ideology among students.

Students threw stones at police who blocked their marches and the policemen baton-charged the activists.

In Thrissur, Congress legislator T.N. Pratapan was also injured in police action.

The party has called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Thrissur district Friday to protest police action.

In Malappuram, police baton charged and burst teargas shells to disperse students who were throwing stones. A few students and policemen suffered injuries in the clashes.

In Pathanamthitta, two student activists suffered injuries when police used force to disperse the march.

The KSU said it would organise a shutdown of educational institutes Friday.

Reacting to the police action, Congress state president Ramesh Chennithala said in Thiruvananthapuram that the government should withdraw the textbook instead of suppressing the student agitation using force.

Congress leaders will hold a sit-in in front of the state secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram Friday to protest against the police action, he added.

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