The protests against the proposed eviction of a homemaker and her family in Kochi took a new turn on Tuesday with the police arresting her along with 36 others, moments before them launching a demonstration in front of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) at Panampilly Nagar here in the morning.

The family of Preetha Shaji has been facing eviction after the family defaulted surety norms of a bank loan taken 24 years ago by one of their relatives.

While Ms. Shaji and 27 others were taken into custody under Section 151 of the Cr.PC (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences) by the South police, the arrests of the remaining nine were recorded in connection with an earlier case for obstructing the attachment proceedings of the property on July 9 as per a Kerala High Court order.

Earlier in the day, the Ernakulam South police station witnessed dramatic scenes as the agitators raised slogans against the police. Communist Party of India leader Annie Raja was among those who visited the protesters at the police station.

P.P.Shams, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Thrikkakara, said the protesters were taken into preventive custody in view of their proposed 48-hour demonstration in front of the DRT.

Let off by evening

The police officer said nine of them wanted in another case registered by the Kalamassery police were shifted to Kalamassery for further proceedings while the remaining persons were let off by evening.

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