Police Use Water Cannon On AISF Activists

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   (2012-07-12 00:00:00)

Thiruvananthapuram:The city police deployed one of its tanker-lorry-mounted water cannon to restrain an All India Students Federation (AISF) protest march in front of the Secretariat on Wednesday.

Nearly 50 AISF workers, protesting against the United Democratic Front (UDF) government’s education policies, attempted to barge into the Secretariat by pulling down the iron barricades the police had placed in front of the Secretariat’s gate.

The police responded by letting out jets of pressurised water from its water cannon, Varun. Leaders of the students organisation affiliated to the Communist Party of India pacified the activists.

They later staged a sit-in in front of the barricades. All India Youth Federation (AIYF) State secretary K. Rajan said the organisation would organise more agitations if the State government did not roll back its decision to give government-aided status to 35 private schools in north Kerala.

The police registered a case of rioting in connection with the incident. The demonstration threw traffic out of gear in the city for nearly two hours in the morning. Traffic was normal by 1 p.m.

AISF State secretary K.P. Sandeep and president N Arun also addressed the protestors.

To boycott Rabb

Meanwhile, AIYF and AISF on Wednesday said they would boycott public functions attended by Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb to protest against the perceived move to commercialise the education sector in the State.

The AISF said they would boycott classes on Thursday and burn the Minister in effigy at all district headquarters.

In a press release here, Mr. Rajan accused the UDF government and its constituent the Indian Union Muslim League of pursuing the agenda of profit-motivated private business interests who view education as just another avenue for making money.

In the process, the government had sacrificed the interests of the large segment of students. The UDF’s policies would render quality education beyond the means of the common man, he said.