An RSS worker was hacked to death allegedly by CPI(M) activists at Payyanur town today, prompting the BJP to demand the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Kannur district. The killing is the first incident of political violence since January’s “peace talks” between the leaders of the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala and BJP-RSS in Kannur. Police said the deceased, Choorakad Biju, was travelling on a motorcycle when some persons intercepted his vehicle at a bridge near Payyanur and launched a fatal attack on him.
Biju, a local RSS leader, was an accused in the murder case of CPI(M) activist CV Dhanraj. He was out on bail. Police said additional personnel were posted in the area as a precautionary measure. The politically sensitive Kannur district has witnessed a series of violent clashes between the activists of the CPI(M) and BJP-RSS over the last one year.
Biju’s killing drew a strong reaction from Kerala BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan, who said Kannur should be declared a “disturbed area” and AFSPA should be imposed in the district in view of the “frequent” attacks on the workers of the saffron party. “Since the government has failed to curb the violence, AFSPA should be imposed in Kannur to maintain law-and-order,” he said, adding that a memorandum would be submitted to the Governor in this regard. “CPI(M) workers are unleashing violence against their political rivals and even the chief minister has failed to control them,” alleged Rajasekharan.
He also claimed that the ruling party in Kerala had “unilaterally broken” the peace accord.
Kannur BJP chief Sathyaprakash said the party had called a hartal in the district tomorrow.
The Kannur CPI(M) district secretariat condemned the incident and denied the allegation that its workers were involved in it. The secretariat, in a statement, also requested the state government to order a comprehensive probe into the incident.