Procession in Trivandrum.
Trivandrum, August 26-Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, today witnessed the biggest-ever demonstration when thousands of volunteers from all over the State paraded through the streets of the city to voice their protest against the Communist Government’s Education Bill.
Spearheaded by about 3000 blue-uniformed “Christophers” (bearers of Christ) the procession marched through the three mile route and converged at a public meeting at which resolutions were passed demanding the withdrawal of the Bill and urging upon the Government of India to take “strong and effective steps to prevent the deterioration of law and order situation” in the State.
In front and in the rear of the procession went groups of supporters of the Education Bill shouting pro-Bill slogans. A strong police force accompanying the procession stood in between the two rival groups separating them to avoid any possible clash.
According to police sources, there were stray stone throwing at the procession and at the meeting and a case of assault. The police have arrested five persons in this connection.
Today’s demonstration in the capital climaxed state-wide protest meetings during the last few days against the Bill. The announcement of this demonstration itself had come after a huge protest meeting held last week at Palai, a predominantly Christian town in Central Travancore.
The demonstration was organised in Trivandrum by the Education Bill Protest Demonstration Committee which consisted of Congressmen, members of the Praja Socialist Party and Muslim League. The organisers claimed that over 50,000 people took part in the procession, which took about one hour to pass the Government Secretariat gates, from where Pressmen watched the demonstration.
Shouting slogans like “Withdraw Education Bill” and “End Lawlessness”, the processionists marched along the main streets which were lined by a large number of people.
Elaborate police precautions have been taken in the city. Police pickets have been posted at all vantage points in the city and streets were lined by policemen. The Secretariat and the surroundings are also being guarded by the police. Wireless fitted police vans are patrolling the streets.
Sri.P.T.Chacko, leader of the Congress Opposition and some other Congress members of the Assembly were walking in front of the procession while Sri. Kumbalath Sanku Pillai, a former President of the Travancore-Cochin Pradesh Congress who has now joined the PSP was in a jeep following them.
At the end of its three mile march, the procession converged at a public meeting at Pazhavangadi Maidan at about 5.30p.m.
(Press Trust of India.)