CM attends three events in Kozhikode under tight security

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The town of Kozhikode was under a heavy security blanket on Sunday, with the town’s police pulling out all the stops to thwart any protest attempts by opposition parties at the events Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan attended here in the evening.

The Congress, BJP and their front organizations staged protests in various parts of the city following revelations by Swapna Suresh, the main defendant in the gold smuggling case. Violence was expected here too after the heavy deployment of security at the events Mr Vijayan attended in Kottayam and Kochi on Saturday and the reported ban on people wearing black masks.

Mr Vijayan reached Kozhikode guesthouse at West Hill in Malappuram town at around 1pm. The first event, the release of a book on late communist veteran K. Chathunni, was scheduled at a private hotel near Sarovaram Biopark at 3:30 p.m. A heavy downpour delayed the event and the Chief Minister did not emerge from the guest house until 4 p.m.

As his convoy reached Karaparamba Junction, some Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists waved black flags. Earlier, a similar protest was organized at Pantheerankavu Junction on the Ramanattukara bypass road. As the vehicles turned towards the Mini Bypass Road, activists from the Youth Congress and KSU also waved black flags near the biopark. The police quickly took them into custody.

From there, the Chief Minister traveled to Kozhikode District Cooperative Hospital in Eranhipalam, a few kilometers away, where a new block for women and children was being opened. Activists from the Muslim Youth League staged a protest there. The third and final event was the Centenary Celebrations of the Diocese of Calicut, held at the grounds of St. Joseph’s Church on Kannur Road around 6 p.m. Organizers reportedly asked attendees to avoid wearing black masks. DCC Chairman K. Praveen Kumar boycotted the event to protest the alleged ban. In view of protests by pro-Opposition activists, a group of CPI(M) activists were seen outside the venue expressing solidarity with Mr. Vijayan.

Hundreds of police were stationed at each of these sites. It was reported that eight deputy police commissioners had been assigned the routes through which the convoy passed. Every crossroads was controlled by the police. Attendees were only allowed in one hour before the start of the event. The road stretch from Eranhipalam to Arayidathupalam on Mini Bypass Road and the area around Malabar Christian College on Kannur Road were completely closed to traffic in the evening. The Chief Minister returned to Kannur by road around 7 p.m.

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