A long march organised by the District Congress Committee (DCC) to the office of the District Police Chief, Kottayam, in protest against the attack on St Paul’s Anglican Church and its carol team turned violent on Friday.
The march, led by former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and former Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, was organised demanding action against Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) members who attacked the carol team and parish members.
They have been staying at the church hall since the attack on December 23.
Violence erupted around 1.15 p.m when the march, which commenced from Pathamuttam, was blocked by the police near the East police station around 1.15 p.m.
Following this, the protesters tried to a stage a sit-in at the spot, leading to a clash between the police and some Youth Congress activists.
Soon, the police resorted to a lathicharge to disperse the crowd.
Several people fell on the road in the melee and sustained injuries.
District panchayat vice president Jessymol Manoj, Pambady block panchayat member Shylaja Reji, Maravanthurthu grama panchayat member Leena D. Nair, Dalit Congress district president Rajan Perumbaikkad and Thiruvarpp Mandalam president Ruby Chacko were admitted to the district general hospital with injuries.
Asianet camera person Prasad Vettippuram, civil police officers Jerrard and Abdul Sathar were also injured.
The police arrested a few Congress and Youth Congress members after the showdown, which lasted for about two hours.
Cases were registered by the police against 300 people for blocking traffic on NH 183, sources said.