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Hartal hits normal life in Thrissur

By Our Staff Reporter

THRISSUR, JULY 29. The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the CPI(M) in the district today to protest against the alleged police atrocities during the violent DYFI march on Wednesday evening, crippled normal life.

Shops and business establishments remained closed and vehicular traffic was thin with only two-wheelers and a few cars and lorries plying on the road. Attendance in Government offices was also thin. There were reports of stone throwing and other instances of violence from different parts of the district. However, there was no report of any untoward incident.

Forced release

The police alleged that two CPI(M) activists whom they had taken into custody at Edathuruthy near Kodungallur were forcibly released by party activists this morning.

The incident occurred during a party march in the area when four activists tried to block a patrolling police jeep. When the police tried to take them into custody, two of them ran away, and the other two were taken into the jeep.

However, the CPI(M) activists came in large numbers and forcibly released two of their colleagues from the jeep. One policeman was injured when the marchers threw stones at them after releasing the activists.

In another incident, CPI(M) activists who tried to forcibly release two of their colleagues from the Erumappetty police station were chased away by the police. Several party activists and three policemen were injured in the incident. The police have taken about 15 persons into custody in connection with the incident. Tension is prevailing in the area.

60 remanded

Meanwhile, the police produced 84 persons who were arrested last evening before the court today. Among them, 60 were DYFI activists and 24 were the drivers of the vehicles which had brought the activists for the march. The court granted bail to the 24 drivers and remanded the 60 DYFI activists to judicial custody for 15 days. The police have also taken several CPI(M) and DYFI activists into custody in different parts of the district like Mannuthy today as part of the preventive steps.

CPI(M) charge

The leaders of the CPI(M) and the DYFI alleged that the police had let lose a reign of terror against their activists on Wednesday as part of a deliberate design. The Government had become perturbed over the widespread mass support the agitations of the pro-Left organisations were gaining and was using the police to crush the agitations.

A section in the police were also getting disturbed over the intense CPI(M) agitation against the mafia elements with whom they have shady deals, and were trying to terrorise the party supporters, the CPI(M) leaders alleged at a press conference.

DYFI demand

The DYFI leaders, Pradeepkumar and Vasanthan, said the judicial inquiry ordered by the Government into the circumstances which led to the suicide of the engineering student, Rajani S. Anand, should be conducted after the Education Minister, Nalakath Soopy, and the Minister for the Welfare of Scheduled and Backward Classes, M.A. Kuttappan, were removed from power.

They said the Government should amend the Bill on self-financing colleges passed by the State Assembly to ensure proper social control over the managements of the colleges.

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