15 SFI activists arrested after scuffle with locals at Vatakara school

The police had to resort to baton charge to disperse both the warring groups. Screengrab/MMTV

Vatakara: Angry local residents and parents of students scuttled the attempt of Students' Federation of India (SFI) to enforce a strike at a school here in Kozhikode district on Tuesday. A clash between a group of local people and SFI activists ensued soon at the MUM School and police had to be called in, resulting in a baton charge and the arrest of nearly 15 strike callers by the police.

A horde of SFI workers arrived at the school as part of a state-wide students' strike called by the organisation on Tuesday to protest against the killing of its member Dheeraj Rajendran in Idukki a day earlier.

The group reached the school after knowing that the classes were proceeding as usual. The school authorities decided not to suspend teaching as the institution does not allow strikes.

But the protestors insisted on suspending studies. Soon, a verbal spat ensued between the SFI workers and the local people. A few parents of some students too joined the side of the school authorities and the local people. It was followed by a commotion in which some people suffered minor injuries.

The police had to resort to baton charge to disperse both the warring groups. About 15 SFI workers were taken into custody by the police.

A police picket was immediately set up before the school. The school authorities alleged that though they told the agitating students that the class work would be suspended after lunch time, the protestors did not relent.

The agitation was in protest against the killing of SFI activist Dheeraj in Idukki on Monday. In response SFI state secretary KM Sachin Dev, MLA, called for students' strike across all schools and colleges in Kerala the next day.

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