August 2020
10:58 AM IST
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Kerala News
Youth outfits of parties clash with police, demand CM''s resignation
Thiruvananthapuram: Youth outfits of Congress, BJP and IUML clashed with police in many places in Kerala as their state-wide protest marches demanding Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan''s resignation in the gold smuggling case turned violent on Friday. Police used water cannons and lathicharged the activists to disperse them. COVID-19 protocol was thrown to the winds by the the youth outfits in their marches. Over 6,500 covid cases have been reported in the southern state so far and the numbers are going up each day. Over 50 Youth Congress activists marched to Vijayan''s house at Pinarayi in Kannur and tried to climb over the barricades, and police used water cannons to disperse them.

In Kozhikode, 14 Youth League activists were injured when police resorted to lathicharge to disperse them after they pelted stones on being prevented from marching to the Collectorate. A few media personnel were injured in the melee. In Kollam and Alappuzha also, the marches turned violent. Customs had seized over 30 kg of gold from a baggage, carrying the name of a diplomatic person that had landed by air cargo at the International airport here on Sunday. The case had taken political overtones after it was found that a woman suspect had been working for the state IT department, a portfolio held by the Chief Minister. She was later sacked.

A former employee of a foreign consulatehere has been arrested, while an ex woman employee, who is absconding, has moved the Kerala High Court for anticipatory bail Continuing to keep up the heat against the government, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, State Congress Chief Mullappally Ramachandran and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy held a joint press meet here and reiterated their demand for a CBI probe into the case, in which the Centre has already announced an NIA investigation. "The Chief Minister should convene an emergency cabinet meeting as soon as possible and recommend a CBI probe in the matter," the KPCC presidenttold reporters. Pointing out that the case had international ramifications, he said the Chief Minister''s Office should also be brought under the probe''s purview.

"Where is the controversial woman? The state government should explain. The whole city is under lockdown. But this woman is absconding. She has contacts with all higher officials", he alleged. Chennithala said the protests would end only after Vijayan''s resignation. Whilewelcoming the NIA probe, Chennithala said the case should also be investigated by the CBI and the RAW as the NIA cannot probe the corruption angle. "The BJP is trying to save the Left government and the chief minister," Chennithala alleged. As the opposition Congress and BJP targeted the CMO over the alleged links of senior IAS officer M Sivasankar with the woman, whose name figured in the smuggling case, the senior bureaucrat was removed as Vijayan''s secretary and the State IT Secretary.

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