Students Federation of India Protest Taking Violent Form

Published on: 09 Jan, 2014
Published under: Education News Kerala

9 January 2014

Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala now is watching the street battles between the police and students on Wednesday when activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI) took out an Assembly march in protest against the government moves to grant autonomy to arts and science colleges, and open the door to foreign universities to set up shop here.

The protest march and the ensuing fights, which brought the city centre to a standstill for close to two hours, started at 11.15 a.m., right after Congress leader M.M. Hassan ended his 24-hour fast at Gandhi Park demanding the shifting of protests to a venue outside the city. Close to 100 SFI activists, their faces covered with towels to prevent detection by the prying cameras, started marching towards the Assembly from University College.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who was attending the Assembly session, came out to pacify the students. The stones continued to land from behind the protest lines, and the police had to form a circle around him to protect him from the stones. A few tear-gas shells were lobbed, following which the students started retreating towards University College.When the police tried to enter the University College gates, they encountered stiff resistance from inside. A few tear-gas shells landed inside the college, which angered the students who responded with more stones.

The SFI said it would observe a protest day on college campuses in the State on Thursday, demanding an end to police atrocities in colleges and the abandoning of the moves to grant autonomy to arts and science colleges.

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