Police use water cannons, mistreat women among KSU activists holding protest marches

Police on Wednesday used water cannons and dragged women protestors across the road to disperse activists of the Kerala Students' Union (KSU) who held marches in Kannur and Palakkad districts against the Left government in the state.
Kerala police uses water cannons against KSU activists
Kerala police uses water cannons against KSU activists

Kannur/Palakkad (Kerala) | Police on Wednesday used water cannons and dragged women protestors across the road to disperse activists of the Kerala Students' Union (KSU) who held marches in Kannur and Palakkad districts against the Left government in the state.

The student activists were raising the issue of alleged shortage of plus-one seats in schools across the northern Kerala region of Malabar.

The Left government has been facing flak over the issue after a girl student in Parappanangadi in Malappuram district in the region died by suicide on June 11 allegedly over anxiety about whether she would get a seat for plus-one (class 11) to continue her studies.

Several activists of the KSU, the students' wing of the opposition Congress in the state, marched towards the district collectorate in Kannur, demanding that additional plus-one batches be accommodated in schools.

When the protestors moved forward, raising slogans against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and General Education Minister V Sivankutty, police blocked their path by tying a rope in the middle of the road. As they continued the sloganeering and refused to leave the place, police used water canons twice.

The police also prevented the protestors from jumping across the barricade.

There was also a minor scuffle between the KSU activists and the law enforcers, who later forcibly removed the agitators, including women, from the area. Many female protestors could be seen being dragged on the road by the police.

The KSU activists alleged that they were also beaten up by the police.

There were tense moments during the KSU protests in Palakkad district as well.

While Congress party and the KSU have been demanding that additional plus-one seats be allotted in schools in the Malabar region to address the alleged shortage of seats there, the Kerala government has claimed that there is no crisis in plus-one admissions at all.

Minister V Sivankutty has claimed that thousands of seats remain vacant every year after plus-one admissions are completed in the region.

He has also claimed that, every year, temporary additional batches are permitted to ensure that students get to pick which stream of subjects they would like to study.

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