Kochi: The bail plea of former Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany and a few other Congress leaders arrested in the case of vandalising actor Joju George's car will be heard today.
The leaders - Tony Chammany, Youth Congress state secretary Manu Jacob, Vyttila booth president Jose Maliyekkal, and Jurgess - had surrendered at the Maradu station on Monday
Two more accused - Youth Congress leaders P Y Shajahan and Arun Varghese - were taken into custody later that day.
Youth Congress workers had thronged the station shouting slogans against Joju George and burning his effigies.
Police had to barricade the roads leading to the station to prevent any untoward incident.
Ernakulam District Congress Committee president Mohammed Shiyas too was at the location spearheading the demonstration.
Dismissing this case as a move to chip away at Congress' efforts to reprimand the ruling LDF government for failing to keep in check the rising fuel prices, Shiyas assured his party's wholehearted support to the leaders.
On November 2, Congress leaders protesting the unabated spike in fuel prices across the country had blocked traffic on one of Kochi's arterial roads.
However, motorists expressed their annoyance and most notable among them was actor Joju George who minced no words against the strike that inconvenienced the public.
Angered, Congress workers surrounded George's car preventing him from leaving even after traffic was restored on the road.
In the ensuing brawl, despite the intervention of the police, the actor's car was vandalised by the Congress workers. Tony Chammany's face was among the most recognisable among the mob.
In all 15 Congress leaders were booked in two cases: one in connection with the road blockade and the other for vandalising the actor's car.
Several people, especially those in the film industry, had come forward in support of the actor.
Though Congress district leadership has filed a complaint against Joju alleging that he misbehaved with woman leaders who were at the protest, the police did not register a case citing there was no evidence against the actor.
Speaking to media at Maradu police station on Monday, KPCC general secretary Deepthy Mary Varghese termed the police stance bizarre. She said the Ernakulam unit of the Mahila Congress will organise a protest march to the Maradu police station on Wednesday.
The Congress party has maintained that the series of events that unfolded are in fact premeditated actions of supporters of the ruling Left Democratic Front.
Congress alleged the CPM was using its supporters in the cinema industry to mask its failure to curb the rising fuel prices.
Chammany said Joju George has become a tool in the hands of the CPM. He said CPM leaders and filmmaker B Unnikrishnan have undermined the compromise talks initiated by the DCC.
Meanwhile, the Congress continued with its protest against the government's failure to reduce fuel tax.
Clashes with the police were reported from a few places, including Palakkad, Kollam and Kannur.
Vehicle blockades were briefly held in several parts of Kerala on Monday morning.
KPCC President K Sudhakaran, however, dismissed these clashes as a "natural progression of events" during a protest.
He also attacked George for sensationalising the party's road blockade in Kochi for more "screen time".
"It was him [Joju George] who caused the road blockade in Kochi with his antics," Sudhakaran alleged.