Thiruvananthapuram: A 73-year-old man watching the stir by students in front of a private law college died of cardiac arrest on Tuesday, with opposition Congress and BJP blaming the ‘police action’ against the agitators for the death.
The deceased, identified as Muhammed Abdul Jabbar from nearby Mannakad, was passing by when police used water cannons at the students, who allegedly pelted stones at them.
The students have been on strike for the past 27 days to protest against alleged harassment of the management.
There were also a tense situation in front of Kerala Law Academy at nearby Peroorkada when police forcibly brought down a ABVP activist from a tree, which he climbed and threatened to commit suicide.
Jabbar collapsed on the road and was immediately rushed to a private hospital where he was declared brought dead. Hospital sources said that he died of cardiac arrest.
Meanwhile, Opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala and KPCC President VM Sudheeran blamed police for the death of Jabbar and demanded a probe into the matter.
BJP also raised a similar demand and alleged that Jabbar’s death was due to the arrogant attitude of the LDF government, which had refused to solve the 27 day long students stir in the academy.
The Law Academy is in the eye of a storm over alleged irregularities in providing internal marks and harassment of students by Lekshmi Nair, daughter of college Director N Narayanan Nair, a close relative of a former CPI(M) MLA.
The students belonging to ABVP, KSU and AISF, under a joint action council had launched the strike. Though SFI, the students wing of pro-CPI-M, also joined the strike, it later called off the stir after the management agreed to keep away Lekshmi Nair from the post of principal.