Law student’s death: pitched battle between Congress activists and police

Police prevent attempt by protesters to storm DPC’s office demanding dismissal of Inspector

Aluva town turned into a battlefield on Thursday as an attempt by Congress activists to storm the office of the District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural) demanding the dismissal and arrest of the Inspector named in the note left behind by the law student, who allegedly ended her life, was stopped by the police.

A protest march led by the District Congress Committee (DCC) president Mohammed Shiyas that started from near the Aluva Town Hall at 11 a.m. was stopped a few hundred metres away from the office by the police. Subsequently, the protesting activists staged a sit-in and held a meeting, which was inaugurated by Hibi Eden, MP. Benny Behanan, MP, MLAs Anwar Sadat, Roji M. John, and Eldhose Kunnappilli were also present.

But not long after, the protest turned hostile, as stones and even eggs were rifled towards the police who retaliated with lathi-charge, water canons, and tear gas. The protest was eventually called off for the day around 1.30 p.m. after consultations with Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan and KPCC president K. Sudhakaran.

Mofia Parveen, 21, a law student was found hanging in her house leaving behind a note that accused her husband and in-laws of domestic violence and Aluva East Police Inspector C.L. Sudheer of rude behaviour. Her husband Muhammed Suhail and parents Rukhia and Yousuf who were arrested on Wednesday have been remanded, while Mr. Sudheer who was relieved of the charge of the station was transferred to the police headquarters.

“We will continue with our protests till the officer is dismissed and arrested. The inquiry report against him by the DySP is at variance with the one submitted by the Ernakulam Range DIG,” said Mr. Shiyas.

Deputy Inspector General Neeraj Kumar Gupta said he was in the process of submitting the inquiry report on the officer to the State Police Chief. Though he declined to reveal the findings, it is being reported that the officer was guilty of delaying action on the complaint by the victim for almost a month.

Aluva DySP P.K. Sivankutty who had submitted another inquiry report to the District Police Chief will only say that the officer was not guilty of serious offences.

Later, around 20 students of Al Azhar Law College, Thodupuzha, where the victim studied, were taken into custody by the police for protesting.

“Four of us who were initially allowed to meet the District Police Chief were then stopped following which we staged a sit-in and raised slogans without creating any obstruction. But then we were forcibly taken away without any provocation,” said Ajmal Hakeem Pattery, a student.

Mr. Sudhakaran said the Congress fight for truth and justice would not wither away in the face of water canons, grenades, and lathi-charge. He accused the Government of actually honouring the officer by transferring him to the police headquarters.

Mr. Sudhakaran said the 11,124 cases registered for atrocities against women this year suggested that women were not safe under the LDF Government.

Meanwhile, in a show of solidarity, the parents of the deceased girl met Mr. Sadat who continues his sit-in in front of the Aluva East police station, in the early hours of Thursday.

Elsewhere, a KPCC leadership camp passed a resolution slamming the State Government for the alleged police brutalities against popular uprisings.

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