Thiruvananthapuram: BJP’s Kerala vice president P P Vava has lost eye sight in his left eye after getting injured a clash with police during a protest on Wednesday.
Eight BJP workers, four police officials and three media persons were also injured in the clash.
Vava was injured after a tear gas shell hit him in the BJP protest when the police resorted to lathicharge to protestors trying to break the barricade. The protestors retaliated and pelted stones and bottles at the police following which they used water cannons and tear gas to break up the protest.
The party had called the demonstration to protest police action against BJP leaders agitating against the management of a prominent private law college in Kerala’s capital city turned violent.
The Kerala Law Academy, one of the oldest privately-run institutions in the state, has been in the focus for the past three weeks after students started an indefinite strike demanding an end to “management high-handedness” and removal of principal Lakshmi Nair.
BJP had called for a hartal in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday against the alleged police atrocity on their march on Tuesday.
Former BJP state president V Muraleedharan, who was sitting on a hunger strike in front of the law college, has been shifted to a hospital. BJP state general secretary VV Rajesh will take his place on Thursday.
Prominent Congress leader K Muraleedharan has said he too will start a hunger strike in solidarity with the students on Thursday.
Incidentally, the students wing of the ruling CPM, SFI, had withdrawn their protest on Tuesday stating that the management had decided to keep principal Lakshmi Nair out of the college for five years.
SFI’s decision was panned by all other protesting student unions including AISF, the students’ wing of CPM’s ruling coalition partner CPI.
BJP has alleged that the college management has the blessings of the ruling CPM since the principal comes from an influential Left-affiliated family.
The protesting students allege that principal Lakshmi Nair shows favouritism in allotting marks for internal assessment and attendance. Kerala Police has already registered a case against Lakshmi Nair based on the complaint lodged by a student named Vivek, a fourth semester LLB student of the college.
According to police, she has been booked under 3(s) of The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act which is a non-bailable offence.