Strikers spray itch dust on kids

Thrissur: In a shocking incident that embarrassed leaders of the pro-Left unions that are on strike, a group of teachers at the government Moyan Lower Primary School in Palakkad allegedly sprinkled the dust of itch-weed locally known as Naikku-rana Podi, on some teachers and students there on Thursday. The incident led to widespread outrage and put the leadership in a spot.
According to the teachers who haven’t joined the strike, when they entered the office room to collect the keys and teaching aids, some sort of dust fell on them from the upper frame of the door. Taking it for saw dust, they ignored the matter.
But, minutes later, around 11 students and a few teachers were screaming in agony, as the weed, notorious for its power to create unbearable itching and cause rashes, began acting.
Collecting the dust, a team rushed the victims to the district hospital and confirmed that it was not saw dust but the itch weed powder. The hospital staff provided immediate treatment to the affected.
The non-striking staff alleged that it was the handiwork of the protesting pro-left unions and they had threatened to resort to such measures to stop the school days.
Palakkad MLA Shafi Parambil said this was the height of irresponsibility. “I am not against any agitation as long as it is peaceful and not anti-public. This kind of atrocities cannot be tolerated,”  he said. The Palakkad Town North police has filed a case.
Strike paralyses govt offices
Thiruvananthapuram: Functioning of government offices and educational institutions continued to be affected for the third consecutive day on Thursday as the indefinite strike by a section of state government employees and teachers continued. While the pro-BJP Federation of Employees’ and Teachers’ Organisation withdrew from the strike, talks between finance minister  K.M. Mani and a section of the leaders of the pro-left service organisations remained inconclusive.
Several persons were injured as widespread violence continued across the state. The agitating employees even resorted to sprinkling crude itching-powder on students and teachers, who did not participate in the strike, at Palakkad. Over hundred employees, including 65 in Thiruvanantha- puram, were suspended in connection with the violence. SFI called for a strike at educational institutions in the state on Friday to express solidarity with the agitating employees and teachers.
Five employees, including two women, were arrested for violence during the agitation at the Directorate of Medical Education here. Attempt by pro-left activists to prevent employees from entering government office in Kattakada resulted in major violence causing injuries to activists and police personnel, including two SIs. SFI and KSU workers clashed in front of the Secretariat.
 Traffic along NH 212 in Kalpetta was affected for about an hour after the police blocked an SFI march to the civil station. While the agitators put itching-powder on teachers and students at Palakkad, in Kannur motor oil was poured on employees who turned up for work. Tense situations prevailed at all the major government offices. The police held over 200 employees across the state for forcibly blocking those who tuned up for work. KSU and SFI activists also took out marches across the state sparking off minor tensions.
 
 
 
 

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