Kerala Students Union protest over PSC rank list issue turns violent

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 18 (PTI) A protest march by the Kerala Students Union (KSU) to the statesecretariat here, expressing solidarity with some PSC rank holders demanding revival of an expired rank list turned violent on Thursday with the police resorting to lathicharge to disperse the agitators.

KSU, thestudents wing of theCongress marched towards the police barricades erected in front of the secretariat gate and attempted to break through it.

Later a group of activists, including women attempted to climb the fence of the administrative complex, but was stopped by the police.

The protesters hurled stones, flag poles, chairs and water cans at the policemen deployed inside the complex.

Control Room Assistant Commissioner Sadan said half-a- dozen of policemen got injured in the attack.

As clashes broke out, police resorted to lathi charge injuring a few KSU congress workers, including itsstate president K M Abhijith.

KSU organised the march to express solidarity with a section of Public Service Commission (PSC) rank holders who have been protesting infront of the secretariat since January, demanding revival of an expired rank list.

The Congress workers have also been protesting against the state government over alleged back-door appointments made in several departments through regularisation of service of many contractual employees, who have been working for over 10 years.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lashed out at the protesters for attacking the police and described it as a 'pre-planned' one.

'The police response was natural. Their (police) colleague was surroundedby the protesters and was brutally attacked when he fell down. But still they showed a lot of restraint.' 'The aim of the protesters was to take away the attention of people from all welfare and developmental activities of the state government,' Vijayan claimed during an online event.

Noting that his government has been launching various developmental activities for the welfare of people, he alleged that there was a conspiracy to overshadow these achievements.

Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy, who visited the protesting Youth Congress activists, said the government should respond to the youngsters protesting against the cancelled rank lists.

'The LDF government has cancelled 147 rank lists. Why is this government fooling the jobless youngsters?' he asked.

'The protesting youngsters are supposed to get a job by now. The chief minister should answer why the rank list was cancelled,' Chandy said. PTI RRT ROH ROH