Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activists clashed with the police in front of the collectorate here on Wednesday morning.
The police resorted to a lathicharge when BJYM workers took out a march to the collectorate and tried to break open the police barricade. The march was in protest against Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel. The protesters demanded that Mr. Jaleel step down from the post.
BJP spokesperson Sandeep Warier inaugurated the march. Yuva Morcha district president Sajesh Elayil presided. BJP district president Ravi Thelath spoke. The police had to use force to arrest and remove the protesters. They were later released on bail.
BJP leaders challenged Mr. Jaleel to swear by the Quran that he had no connection with the gold smuggling racket. They said Mr. Jaleel was using religion as a shield to escape from his wrongdoings. They said the State had never seen such a communal-minded Minister as Mr. Jaleel.
According to them, Mr. Jaleel was serving as a bridge between the CPI(M) and some religious extremist groups.
In a separate statement here, BJP Palakkad zone vice president K.K. Surendran said that the party would confront the police raj by fielding its cadres. Criticising the police action on BJP leaders here, Mr. Surendran said that the police were behaving like a sister organisation of the CPI(M).