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NDF rally peaceful

Staff Reporter

THALASSERY: : The `Freedom Parade' rally by the National Development Front (NDF) here on Monday passed off peacefully despite an air of tension following efforts by some groups, allegedly BJP-RSS activists, to block roads in a bid to stop NDF volunteers from entering the town.

The Thalassery Circle Inspector fired a single round in the air to disperse a mob who tried to block the National Highway at Thalayi between Thalassery and Mahe. The police said the mob immediately dispersed and traffic was restored. A large posse of police personnel, including a company of the Kerala Armed Police Battalion IV, had been deployed in and around the town in view of the NDF programme. DIG Nitin Agrawal and District Superintendent of Police Mathew Polycarpe were camping here to supervise the security arrangements.

In some areas, groups of suspected BJP-RSS workers stopped vehicles, mostly private buses and trucks, and deflated their tyres in a bid to block the roads. This led to traffic congestion in and around the town. The police teams removed the vehicles with deflated tyres from Dharmadom bridge, Moidu bridge, Eranholi and Temple Gate

The police said there was also tension at Karetta in Mattannur police station limits following efforts of some people to stop vehicles proceeding to Thalassery. A motor cycle was set on fire at Karetta at around 12 noon, the police said. The NDF rally ended peacefully. Nearly 1,000 uniformed NDF volunteers, including band troupes, participated in the parade, which was inaugurated by All India Personal Law Board member Maulana Syed Musthafa Rifayi. NDF former State president E. Aboobacker was also present.

`Minorities sidelined'

Staff Reporter adds from Pathanamthitta: The National Development Front (NDF) took out a `Freedom Parade' in the town on Monday.

All-India Muslim Personal Law Board working committee member, Maulana Anizoor Rahman Khasimi from Bihar, inaugurated the parade, which began from Link Road at 2.30 p.m. and terminated at the Municipal Stadium. Mr. Rahman alleged that minorities in India were being sidelined.

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