Kochi: Activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the youth wing of the BJP, on Sunday raised slogans against the presence of human rights activist Dr Binayak Sen at a seminar in Kochi.
As Sen arrived at the Law College campus to address a national seminar on "Right to help vis-a-vis the vulnerable population", the ABVP activists staged the protest calling him 'anti-national' and 'supporter of Maoists'.
Waving the national flag, the protesters, who were later removed by police, shouted "Go back" and threw some pamphlets. Since the ABVP activists had threatened that they would disrupt the function, the organisers had brought it to the notice of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who ordered adequate deployment of police personnel at the venue.
At least 50 police personnel escorted Sen to the campus. In his address, Sen said food security as part of right to health and democratization of information flow were the need of the hour.
Though the Prime Minister had pointed out that 45 per cent of India's children below 5 are malnourished, the national family health survey had pegged the figure at 47 per cent, he said adding over 50 per cent of Scheduled Tribes and more than 60 per cent of Scheduled Castes were under nourished, he said.
Former Supreme Court judge Cyriac Joseph, who also spoke, said the right to protest was an essential right in a democracy, but the right to speech and expression was also equally important.