Policemen, photojournalists injured as stir turns violent

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Malappuram, Kerala, Jun 24 (UNI) Two media photographers and as many policemen sustained injuries as a protest march called by the pro-IUML Muslim Students Federation (MSF) turned violent here today.

Police said the trouble began when a group of slogan shouting activists, demanding withdrawal of controversial text from the social studies textbook of class VII, pelted stones at the police, who prevented their march to the Deputy Director of Education breaching security cordon. In the melee, constables Mohammed Basheer and Rajesh were injured.

News photographers Sandeep of 'Malayala Manorama' and Lalu of a private channel, who were covering the incident, also sustained injuries, they said.

Later, the protesters set on fire hundreds of textbooks at a book depot behind the DD office, they said.

A report from Kozhikode said the MSF activists took out a similar march to the DDE office at Mananchira in the district. However, the protesters, who attempted to barge into the office, were prevented by the security force at the main gate.

Windows of a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus was damaged in stone pelting allegedly by the fleeing MSF activists at Mavoor Road KSRTC Bus depot in the city, they added.

Apart from the MSF, the pro-Congress Kerala Students Union (KSU) were on agitation during the last couple of days to mount pressure on the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front government in the state to withdraw the controversial text, which they claimed was aimed at promoting ''atheism and anti-religious sentiments.'' UNI PCH GD SW RN1511

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