On April 7, at least 10 Left party offices were vandalised in Kannur district, Kerala, after a youth wing member and IUML worker was killed in a political clash. As per reports, 22-year-old Mansur, a member of Youth League, the youth wing of Indian Union Muslim League, died in a post-poll clash between workers of CPI(M) and IUML on April 6.
The violence, that has now engulfed the area, erupted during the funeral procession of Mansur the next day. T V Subhash, district collector, has called an all-party meeting at 11 AM on April 8 over the violence. Venugopal K Nair, Inspector General, Kannur Range, said that the situation is under control.
Three police personnel injured
As per the news reports, officers of CPI(M) at Panoor, Kannur, were attacked and burnt. While talking to PTI, Ilango R, Superintendent of Police, Kannur, said that police restored to lathi-charge to dismiss the violent crowd in Kolavellur police station limits. He said, “Around five-six persons, mostly IUML workers, were taken into custody after some miscreants have vandalised around five-party offices in Chockli and Kolavellur police station limits. A few more were also attacked in other places.”
During the violence, at least three police personnel were injured, and the rioters vandalised a police bus as well. Houses of those who were accused in the murder case were also attacked. Ilango R added that the police would take more people into custody, and relevant cases will be registered. An additional police force has been deployed in the area to maintain law and order.
Other offices that were vandalised by Indian Union Muslim League workers include CPI(M) Peringathur local committee office, branch committee offices in the town, Aachimukku, Keezhmadam, Kochiyangado and Kadavathur branch committee offices, along with a few libraries.
A CPI party official told PTI that at least five of their offices were burnt down by IUML members. Though police are claiming that the situation is under control, the Muslim League workers are allegedly threatening the CPI(M) families.
Assailants were looking for Muhsin
According to the witnesses, the clash between two parties erupted at around 8 PM on April 6 in the Paral area in the Koothuparamba constituency. The reason behind the crash was believed to be bogus voting. A group of people had allegedly attacked Mansur and his brother Muhsin near their home. Reports suggest that the attackers barged into their house and dragged Muhsin out. When Mansur tried to stop them, they attacked him as well. They also hurled bombs before attacking them with sharp weapons.
Mustafa, Mansur’s father, said, “The assailants dragged my son out of our house and killed him in front of my eyes. Our area is not known for political violence. There were no serious incidents to lead to such a cruel act.”
During the clash, Mansur had suffered critical injuries to his leg. He was rushed to a private hospital in Kozhikode, where he was declared dead. Soon after the incident, a CPI(M) member was taken into custody by the police and 11 others were identified. According to the autopsy report, the bomb blast led to Mansur’s death.
Muhsin also sustained serious injuries and was rushed to Thalassery Indira Gandhi hospital and then to a private hospital in Kozhikode with Mansur. According to IUML, CPI(M) was behind the death of Mansur. However, the Left party has denied the allegations. They claimed it was not a political murder.
Muhsin, in a statement, said, “It was so sudden and unexpected, but they attacked me after confirming my name. As I was being attacked, Mansur tried to protect me. They hacked him too.” Muhsin is currently admitted to the hospital to get treatment for the injuries.
CPI(M)’s Jayarajan’s son’s post attracted criticism
Jain Raj, son of the party’s state committee member P Jayarajan said in a Facebook post, “Irannu vangunnath seelamayipoyi (it has become a habit to beg for things).” His post was heavily criticised, after which Jayarajan denounced the post and said, “I have seen reports on my son’s FB post in television channels. I am not sure about the circumstances in which he had posted it. But if it is in connection with the Panur incident, I do not agree with it. When such unfortunate incidents take place, party supporters should indulge in activities which would bring peace into the area.”
BJP accused CPI(M) of violence
BJP has alleged that CPI(M) is behind the political violence in the state. BJP leader and Kattakkada constituency candidate PK Krishna Das claimed that CPI(M) had unleashed violence across Kerala soon after the assembly election. He said, “The Marxist party has attacked Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in my constituency. They have thrown bombs towards the workers, destroyed campaigning materials, and the police did not take any action against them.”
As per reports, Yuva Morcha Kasargod district vice president Sreejith Parakkalayil was also attacked on April 6. He was admitted to a private hospital in Mangalore.
Assembly elections in Kerala
Voting in Kerala was done on April 6 in a single phase for all 140 seats. In the Koothuparamba assembly constituency in the northern Kerala district of Kannur, there is a fierce contest between K P Mohanan of the Lok Janatantrik Dal, CPI(M) ally and Pottankandy Abdullah of the IUML.