Congress accuses SFI of attacking party MLAs, alleges police inaction

M Vincent MLA
M Vincent MLA

Thiruvananthapuram | The opposition Congress in Kerala on Wednesday slammed the ruling CPI(M)'s student outfit SFI for allegedly beating up a KSU leader and attacking party MLA M Vincent.

The Congress-led student organisation KSU also took out a protest march to the Secretariat alleging police inaction in the matter and the booking of MLAs Vincent and Chandy Oommen as well as KSU activists in connection with the violent scenes outside Sreekaryam police station in the intervening night of July 2-3.

Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly V D Satheesan slammed the SFI by calling it a "gang of criminals" and accused them of attacking MLAs Vincent and Oommen.

In a statement, Satheesan also accused the police of protecting the SFI activists who attacked the MLAs.

He said the police made their stand clear when they lodged a case against the MLAs and KSU activists for the injury caused to a policeman in the clash between the two student groups.

Satheesan, in his statement, also accused the state government of protecting the criminals in the SFI and alleged that the "decay" in the CPI(M) has affected its student and youth outfits also.

He also said Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, who is also in-charge of the Home Department, should realise that the SFI is carrying out brutal acts in the campuses and not rescue operations.

In the afternoon, the KSU took out a march to the state secretariat protesting the police action against the MLAs and alleging inaction of the police against the SFI.

The KSU activists shouted slogans against the state government and the police in front of the barricades placed outside the secretariat.

The police then used water cannons several times to disperse them, but the protestors did not move away and blocked traffic on one side of the road in front of the secretariat.

Later, the protestors left the area and marched towards Palayam here.

Vincent on Wednesday claimed that activists of the Students Federation of India (SF) attacked him outside the police station when he arrived there to be part of protest by the Kerala Students Union (KSU), a student organisation of the Congress, against the alleged beating up of one of their leaders inside the University of Kerala campus on July 2.

The KSU members, along with Oommen, were also demanding lodging of a case against the SFI activists who allegedly beat up the KSU leader.

The situation escalated after SFI activists arrived there claiming that the KSU was making false allegations.

The SFI also alleged that the KSU brought 'goondas' from outside and attacked the activists of the Left student outfit inside the university campus during preparations for welcoming new students to the varsity on July 3.

Later, the situation outside the police station escalated into heated words and even blows being exchanged between both sides, with Vincent being allegedly attacked by SFI activists in front of the police.

Speaking to reporters after the incident, Vincent said, "I was attacked as soon as I stepped out of the vehicle. You all saw that. This shows the arrogance of SFI."

The police lodged an FIR against some SFI activists in connection with the violence outside the station.

It lodged a separate case against the Congress MLAs and KSU activists in connection with the injury caused to a policeman during the violence outside the Sreekaryam station.

Besides that, another FIR was lodged against some activists of the SFI on a KSU member's complaint that he was beaten up by them near the police station.

A fourth FIR was also registered by the police against some more than 20 unknown persons for the alleged assault of the KSU leader inside the university campus on July 2.

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