Outrage in Kerala over police action on Jishnu's relatives; UDF calls for hartal
- Political leaders, cutting across party lines, condemned the inhuman action by police.
- GP Loknath Behra and IG Manoj Abraham faced the heat of the protests when they arrived at the hospital to meet Mahija.
- UDF decided to boycott the 60th anniversary celebrations of the first Kerala Ministry.
On the 60th anniversary of the first Kerala Ministry, Pinarayi Vijayan government found itself in the line of fire for the inhuman treatment of a hapless mother who demanded justice for her deceased son.
Political leaders, cutting across party lines, condemned the police action on the mother and relatives of Jishnu Pranoy who tried to start an indefinite hunger strike in front of the office of the state police chief on Wednesday morning. Mahija, mother of the deceased B.Tech student, suffered injuries in her stomach after she was allegedly hit by police while she was dragged to the police vehicle from the DGP office in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) decided to boycott the 60th anniversary celebrations of the first Kerala ministry in protest. The UDF has called for a hartal the state except Malappuram district on Thursday. The BJP also declared hartal in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. The police arrested the relatives of Jishnu when they demanded the arrest of the culprits in the case, BJP leader O Rajagopal said.
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Undaunted by the police action, relatives of Jishnu stated that they will continue their protest and would fight until death demanding justice.
BJP and Congress workers marched to Peroorkada Government Hospital where Mahija was admitted. DGP Loknath Behra and IG Manoj Abraham faced the heat of the protests when they arrived at the hospital to meet the woman.
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It was an unfortunate incident, said DGP Behra after visiting Mahija in hospital. He promised immediate departmental action against police officials who misbehaved with the relatives of Jishnu. The DGP also directed IG Abraham to file a report on the incidents.
Spontaneous protests erupted in various parts of the state against the police action. A march by Congress workers turned violent in front of the office of the district police chief at Kozhikode on Wednesday afternoon. As many as six persons were injured in the police lathi charge.
As the government came under severe criticism for the treatment towards the relatives of Jishnu Pranoy, Chief Minister rang up DGP Loknath Behra and directed him to visit Mahija in hospital.
Former Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan also called the state police chief and scolded him. The police action was unjustified and completely uncalled for, he told the police chief. "Are you trying to shame the government ahead of Malappuram by-election," he reportedly asked Behra.
Mahija and relatives of Jishnu were forcefully removed from in front of the DGP office on Wednesday morning when they arrived there to hold indefinite hunger strike demanding the arrest of the culprits behind the death of the student.
After nearly half an hour of tension, police forcefully removed Vanaja, mother of the Jishnu and relatives. Vanaja was seen crying loud as the female cops dragged her into the police vehicle. "You couldn't arrest the murderers of my son. What right do you have to arrest us," she shouted before being arrested.
Jishnu Pranoy was found hanging in the toilet of his hostel room early in January this year. The death whipped up an outrage in the student community across the state. The police alleged that Jishnu was taken to the board room of Nehru Engineering College and was tortured on the day he was found hanging. The blood group of the blood stains found in the ‘torture room,’ matched with that of Jishnu’s, giving more credence to the allegations that the student was subjected to physical torture.