A protestor at close proximity to the Kerala CM's vehicle
A protestor at close proximity to the Kerala CM's vehicle

Black flags waved at CM Pinarayi’s convoy in Kochi, one Youth Cong worker arrested

While black flag protests took place at many places, one person jumped in front of the CM’s convoy from the crowd in Thrikkakara and reached near the CM's car.

Youth Congress activists, on Friday, July 29, waved black flags at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at various locations in Kochi, drawing strong condemnation from the CPI(M) alleging that there were attempts to physically target the Left leader. In an alleged breach of the Chief Minister's security, a Youth Congress worker jumped in front of his vehicle at Thrikkakara and rushed towards the side in which Pinarayi was seated.

Police said that the Youth Congress worker Sony has been arrested in connection with the incident and a probe has been launched. "Black flag protests have taken place at many points inside the city. However, at Thrikkakara, one person jumped in front of the convoy from the crowd. He reached near the CM's car. A probe has been launched into the incident," a senior police official of the district told PTI.

Youth Congress activists were protesting against the Kerala Chief Minister as part of their agitation over the diplomatic channel gold smuggling issue. Meanwhile, the Thrikkakara incident has drawn the ire of the ruling CPI(M) which condemned the incident.

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in a statement, said that the Congress was resorting to such kinds of incidents as they found it difficult to find enough workers for a normal protest. "This incident proves that the Congress has decided to incite violence. The Congress has made it an agenda to attack the CM wherever he travels. Today's attack at Ernakulam by a Congress worker from Alappuzha proves this. The Congress party is engaged in such types of attacks when they don't have enough people to organise a protest," Balakrishnan said. He called for widespread protests in light of the "assault attempt" against the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said they will continue their protest against the Chief Minister.

According to police, around 10 Youth Congress workers have been taken into custody in connection with the various incidents of black flags waved across the city. The protesters, holding black flags, attempted to obstruct vehicular traffic and shouted slogans against the Chief Minister, seeking his resignation in connection with the gold smuggling controversy. However, they were caught by the police personnel deployed at the spot to facilitate the smooth movement of CM Pinarayi.

The southern state had witnessed massive protests a few weeks ago after the key accused in the gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh, levelled serious allegations against the Chief Minister and his family in the case.

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