Kerala Youth Congress chief Rahul Mamkootathil faces additional arrests in Secretariat march violence case

According to an officer from the Thiruvananthapuram Cantonment police station, Mamkootathil is now facing charges in three additional cases.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 16, 2024 | 1:59 PMUpdatedJan 16, 2024 | 1:59 PM

File photo of Kerala Youth Congress president Rahul Mamkootathil

Rahul Mamkootathil, Kerala state president of the Youth Congress, currently in jail for his involvement in a protest march to the Secretariat that turned violent last month, has been arrested again by the police investigating the case, police said on Tuesday, 16 January.

According to an officer from the Thiruvananthapuram Cantonment Police Station, Mamkootathil is now facing charges in three additional cases related to the march.

Cases against Mamkootathil

These cases involve incidents such as the damage of police vehicles during the protest, the officer said.

Currently held at Poojappura Central Prison, Mamkootathil is expected to be brought before the court on Tuesday.

This development occurred as a local court was set to consider his bail plea on Wednesday regarding the cases filed against him in connection with the clashes during the Secretariat march.

The march, organised last month, aimed to draw attention to the alleged attacks on Youth Congress workers by police and workers of the DYFI — youth outfit of the ruling CPI(M) — during the state government’s Nava Kerala Sadas programme led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Opposition Congress had on 11 January, dismissed the CPI(M)’s accusation that Mamkootathil had submitted a forged medical certificate to secure bail from the court, labelling the claim as the “cheap politics” of the Marxist party.

Also Read: Congress dismisses CPI(M) allegation against Rahul Mamkootathil

‘State-sponsored terrorism’

Continuing to criticise the LDF government and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over Mamkootathil’s arrest, Satheesan accused them of implementing “state-sponsored terrorism” using police force.

Addressing a press conference, Satheesan claimed that the entire state of Kerala had united to oppose the arrest of the Youth Congress president.

He pointed out that the police even registered a case against him, naming him as the first accused of inaugurating a protest march organised by the Youth Congress recently.

“The government is finding joy in misusing power,” alleged the Leader of the Opposition.

Following his arrest a court had rejected his bail plea followed by remanding him to judicial custody.

Also Read: Arrest of Mamkootathil in early-morning raid sparks protests

The incident

The police deployed water cannons multiple times to disperse protesters attempting to breach a barricade placed in front of the Secretariat complex during a Youth Congress protest last month.

As Youth Congress workers persisted in exchanging heated words with police and attempted to dismantle the barricade, water cannons were utilised to clear the protesters from the area.

Subsequently, the protestors sat on the road, raising slogans against both the police and the LDF government in the state.

Earlier, inaugurating the protest march, Shafi Parambil MLA criticised the police and said that they were acting like “servants” of the Left government and party leaders.

The southern state witnessed widespread protests on Tuesday following the arrest of Mamkootathil who was held in connection with a Secretariat march organised last month to highlight alleged atrocities against Youth Congress workers during the state government’s Nava Kerala Sadas programme led by Vijayan.

The court in Thiruvananthapuram remanded Mamkootathil in judicial custody till 22 January, after considering a medical report that indicated he had no major health issues.

(With PTI inputs)