UDF protest at Secretariat, traffic snarl in Thiruvananthapuram

UDF - Secretariat
UDF leaders and activists at the Secretariat protest in Thiruvananthapuram. Photo: Manoj Chemancheri

Thiruvananthapuram: Highlighting the University College violence and PSC issue, Kerala's oppostion front UDF (United Democratic Front) has begun a protest in front of the Secretariat here on Thursday.

The UDF leaders began the protest in front of the three gates to the Secreatariat building on Thursday midnight. A judicial inquiry in the University College violence and a CBI investigation into the PSC examination fraud are the primary demands of the protest party.

Meanwhile, the capital is facing a huge traffic jam due to the UDF protest. The police has closed most roads heading in the direction of the Secretariat. Pedestrians are not allowed in the area either.

The move comes amidst a High Court order which stated that it was police duty to ensure people's freedom of movement is not curbed during strikes or protests.

Enquiries wound up

The protest comes amidst the plans of the state government to wind up the enquiry in the case. The recovery of university answer sheets from the residence of Sivarenjith-the first accused in the University College stabbing case-had cast doubts into the credibility of the police rank list where he and Naseem (second acused) had secured the first and 28th rank, respectively.

After trying to justify the PSC by saying that it has been maligned baselessly and there is nothing to enquire there, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan made it clear that the crime branch will take over the case from the police only if further enquiry is needed into the answer sheet leak.

The CM's statements made it amply clear that there won't be any further enquiry into the answer sheet leak case and the allegations over the PSC list despite the governor seeking an enquiry into these cases.

The DGP had announced a week ago that the stabbing case and the answer sheet theft case will be handed over to the crime branch, but notifications were not issued due to the objections from the government. Now, after the chief minister has cleared the air, it is certain that the crime branch won't take over the cases.

Besides, when higher education minister K T Jaleel and LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan downplayed the answer sheet leak, it revealed the stands of the government and the Left front in the issue. Jaleel had said that answer sheets used to be taken out earlier too and one government or a college cannot be blamed for it. It is unclear what direction the probes will take now.

“An answer sheet is a paper on which answers are written. How can we call a piece of paper an answer sheet if it doesn't have answers and marks? How can a paper without answers become an answer sheet? The piece of paper has no value,” Vijayaraghavan said.

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