Ruckus in Kerala House over police action on protesters
Thiruvananthapuram:On Monday, the Kerala legislature witnessed raucous scenes and heated arguments over police action against opposition party workers protesting the government’s decision to impose a 2% gasoline cess.
After members of the ruling party and the opposition rushed to the well of the house and got into a fight, Speaker A.N. Shamseer ended the meeting. All of this started when Congress lawmaker Shafi Parambhil put forward a motion to stop the session. He said that police were given free reign to stop protests by workers for the opposition party and that even women activists were not safe. He said that many members of the Youth Congress were put in jail as a precaution because people were afraid that they would raise black flags against CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
“In Kochi, a man in the police force attacked a woman activist and then talked badly about her. In Kasaragod, police guarding the Chief Minister hit a worker with the car as it was moving. He was taken to a hospital in Mangaluru for serious head injuries. The police have gone too far with their violence. “If the CM is so worried about black flags, he should just stay home,” said Parambhil as he moved to end the meeting. He also said that Kerala’s left-leaning government was just a “Malayalam version of the Modi government at the centre.” He also told how a police inspector beat him up at the Kalamassery police station in the Ernakulam district.
But the CM said that police only acted when they were being attacked. He said that Youth Congress workers in Kalamassery were hit with batons when they tried to get into the police station, and that six police officers were also hurt. Later, 12 workers were taken into custody and charged. He said he wasn’t afraid of the black flags, but Youth Congress workers ran towards his fast-moving car to cause trouble. He made fun of the members of the Youth Congress by saying that the group could only hire one or two people to wave black flags in different places.
At this point, the opposition leader, V D Satheesan, asked if there were only one or two people behind the police taking many activists into custody before the CM’s visit at different places. “When the CM travels, police are randomly stopping all vehicles, which is a big problem for the public,” he said, adding that no CM had ever moved around in so many vehicles and with such a big group of police.
But Vijayan said that he didn’t decide the CM’s security and that the police do what they need to do based on the rules. “My security plans were made by a group of state and central officers on a Security Review Committee. This committee will get together every six months to look at how things are going,” he said. He said that he had Z-plus security, just like the Governor and Rahul Gandhi, the MP for Wayanad.
There were heated arguments between the opposition and the treasury benches, and the Speaker had to warn the ruling party members after they interrupted the opposition leader. After the CM’s answer, opposition members stormed out of the house when the Speaker denied their motion to end the meeting. Some of the younger lawmakers in Congress wore black shirts when they came to the house. The media wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the proceedings, and they were told to get pictures from the channel run by the assembly.