The BJP on Saturday sought the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Kannur, a day after the hacking of an RSS office bearer, which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has brushed aside, terming it a one-off incident. On Friday evening, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh office bearer Biju in his early 30s was hacked to death at Payyanur in Kannur, the hot spot of political murders. The state Bharatiya Janata Party leadership has accused the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist activists of the murder, which the Left party has denied. A dawn-to-dusk shutdown is being observed in Kannur district on Saturday. So far it has passed off peacefully with shops, markets and establishments — all closed and public vehicles off the road. BJP’s lone legislator O. Rajagopal and a team of party leaders on Saturday called on Governor P. Sathasivam asked for the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act to be imposed in Kannur.
Rajagopal said: “Today the Kerala Police has become an outfit of the CPI-M and miserably failed to protect the lives and property of citizens. “The police are always linked to the leaders of the CPI-M, who direct them. The only way peace can return to Kannur is with implementation of the AFSPA,” he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram. “The good thing is Kannur has an Army camp and we have requested the Governor to see that AFSPA is implemented,” said Rajagopal. The police has registered a case against seven persons in the crime. They have found out that the murder of Biju was carried out by a gang of four persons, who came in an Innova car. Biju along with his friend was driving a two-wheeler, when an Innova car knocked them down and he was hacked to death. The victim, who was out on bail, was the 12th accused in the July 2016 murder of CPI-M worker Dhanaraj.
Vijayan who arrived in Kannur on Saturday told reporters that things appeared to be calm following an all-party meeting that discussed political rivalries. Vijayan said: “Those talks did a world of good and everyone should be careful to see that things are under check. It was an unfortunate incident that occurred yesterday (Friday) and it is seen as a one-off incident.” Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has blamed both the CPI-M and the BJP for the happenings in Kannur. “Both these parties are responsible for what’s happening in Kannur and they have to find a way out of this,” said Chandy.