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Jishnu Prannoy suicide: Opposition parties call for hartal in Kerala on Thursday

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-04-2017 Nidheesh M.K.

Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition parties in Kerala have called for closing shops, boycotting work and halting transport on Thursday to protest against police action on the aggrieved parents of Jishnu Prannoy, a college student who committed suicide in January.

The parties also boycotted Wednesday’s official celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of the state’s first Communist government.

Prannoy’s parents were held while they were marching to the state police chief’s office to demand the arrest of the college chairman and four other officials in relation to the death.

Allegations of torture at the college that Prannoy attended have swirled since his death. On Tuesday, P. Krishnadas, chairman and managing trustee of the Nehru group of institutions that manages the college, was arrested and later released on bail.

Pranoy’s mother Mahija who lay on the road and protested, suffered some injuries and has been hospitalised. Visuals of the police action triggered an outrage, a setback for chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who heads the state’s home ministry.

Following the outrage, Vijayan and the DGP met the mother at the hospital. He later told reporters that a report will be submitted on the violent incident.

While Congress-led United Democratic Front has called for a hartal across the state on Thursday except in poll-bound Malappuram district, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will hold a hartal in Thiruvananthapuram.

CPI (M) veteran V.S. Achuthanandan spoke to police chief Loknath Behra and expressed his displeasure at the developments. Leader of Opposition from Congress and former home minister Ramesh Chennithala said he was pained at the government failure to understand the sorrow of a mother, who had lost her only child.

Pranoy was found hanging in the college hostel. From his Facebook posts, he seemed to be a Left sympathiser and considered Vijayan as his role model. Reports in regional newspapers suggested he was targeted for raising his political views with the management. However, the college management says he committed suicide after allegedly caught copying in an exam.

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