Police use tear gas to disperse Youth Congress protest march

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Kochi, Jan 29 (UNI) Police today used tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse a protest march by the Youth Congress activists against the controversial land deal between public sector Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) Ltd and Mumbai-based Blue Star Realtors to set up a 'cyber city' here.

Congress sources said at least five activists, including Kerala Students Union (KSU) President Hybee Eden and All India Youth Congress Secretary Mohd Niaz, received minor injuries in the incident and were taken to the Ernakulam General Hospital.

Youth Congress activists, demanding a CBI probe into the land deal, tried to break past police barricades while marching towards the Kanayannur Taluk Office around noon.

Police at first used water cannons and then resorted to lobbing of tear gas shells to disperse the protestors.

Earlier, the Youth Congress activists, shouting slogans against the deal, started their march from the DCC office here towards the Taluk Office.

Addressing the workers, Mr Eden said HMT had no power to sell 70 acres of land, allotted to it by the State Government for industrial purpose, to a third party.

He demanded that the registration of land in the name of Blue Star Realtors be nullified and action be taken against those behind the ''illegal act.'' UNI ARC GD AK AKJ ND1656

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