Solar scam: Protests rage in Kerala demanding CM's resignation

Thiruvananthapuram: Students and youth activists on Friday staged protests in front of the Secretariat here and in other parts of the state demanding resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is facing allegations in the solar scam, even as police used tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse the agitators.

Protests were witnessed in other parts of the state, including Kozhikode and Alappuzha. The protest march by DYFI, the youth wing of CPI(M), turned violent here following which police used tear gas shells and batons to chase away the agitators, who gathered in large numbers and pelted stones at the forces, police said.

The main road in front of the state Secretariat in the heart of the city virtually turned into a battlefield. Many media personnel covering the incident also suffered injuries in the melee. Shops remained shut in the area and vehicles parked on the road were damaged.

The protesters, who raised slogans demanding resignation of Chandy, engaged in a scuffle in front of the district collectorate at Kozhikode. Police used water cannons against the protesters there also.

Protests erupted across the state soon after prime accused Saritha, while deposing before the Justice Sivarajan Commission, alleged that she had paid bribes to the tune of Rs 1.9 crore to a close aide of the Chief Minister and Rs 40 lakh to Power Minister Arayadan Mohammed. Both Chandy and Arayadan Mohammed have denied the allegations.

In a major embarrassment to the Congress-led UDF government, a Vigilance court had yesterday ordered registration of an FIR against Chandy and Arayadan Mohammed in the solar scam.

The scam pertains to cheating of several persons worth crores of rupees by Saritha and her co-accused Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions.

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