Moments after the Congress march to the DGP office in Thiruvananthapuram, turned violent, on Saturday, December 23, Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan alleged that the police action against his party workers was an attempt to harm the senior leaders.
The Congress party held the protest march to demand the arrest of CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s gunman and CPI(M) party workers, who have been accused of attacking several Youth Congress workers across the state for staging protests on the backdrop of the Nava Kerala Sadas.
“Such an incident has never happened in the history of Kerala. The action on the part of the police, aimed at harming the Congress leaders as a whole, was done on the instructions of the Chief Minister who encourages criminal activities,” VD Satheesan said in his press release.
After the speech of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President K Sudhakaran, the police resorted to tear gas and water cannons during the opposition leader's speech. Some of the Congress workers, including Sudhakaran suffered breathing issues as a result of the tear gas shelling and had to be taken to the hospital.
Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram says the police action happened without any provocation. “I was sitting on the stage and there was no provocation at all. We were forced to stop the protest after police used tear gas. I heard that people had health issues after that. Police should warn the protesters through a megaphone before taking any action. But they didn’t do that. How can they give a warning without any provocation? This is unbearable behaviour of police,” Sashi Tharoor said to the media.
VD Satheesan added that the police action took place when the people's representatives including MPs and MLAs were present at the place. “The state police chief completely handed over the control of the police force to the CPI(M) and the police are controlled by the team in the Chief Minister's office.”
“The march was conducted very peacefully. This is an unusual act from the side of the police. Usually, this kind of action would not happen when senior leaders speak. There are people with heart disease and breathing issues. What would be their condition after breathing the tear gas,” K Sudhakaran said to the media.