Several students and policemen were injured after a protest march taken out by CPI(M)'s students wing, SFI, against the UDF government's education policy turned violent in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.
Police lobbed teargas shells, used water cannon and lathicharged the protestors after they attacked them when they tried to prevent them from moving towards the state assembly complex, police said. The protesters also vented their anger at a few government vehicles.
The melee, which lasted for over an hour, halted traffic in the heart of the city.
Police accused the marchers of having triggered the violence, while SFI leaders alleged that the violence was unleashed on protesters as part of a pre-planned strategy to suppress the agitation. The injured were rushed to hospitals.
Pro jeft student outfits in the state have been on protest mode for the last several days accusing the UDF government of having failed to rein in the managements of self-financing colleges which had declined to follow the policy of filling half the seats in their institutions from the state quota.