The BJP's Kerala unit office here was today vandalised allegedly by ruling CPI-M's youth and student wing activists.
The BJP’s Kerala unit office here was today vandalised allegedly by ruling CPI-M’s youth and student wing activists. Police said some men pelted stones damaging vehicles parked in the office complex. A case has been registered and investigation was underway, they said.The early morning attack capped a spate of similar attacks on rival party workers’ houses in parts of the district following skirmishes between cadres of CPIM and BJP in the past couple of days. Alleging collapse of law and order in the state, BJP claimed the attack was an attempt on the life of its state President Kumanam Rajasekharan, who was present in the office at Kunnukuzhi locality at that time. The party alleged that activists of DYFI and SFI were involved in the attack.
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The CPI-M hit back, alleging the BJP had planned the incidents to divert attention from the graft charges over MCI approval against some of its party leaders. Hours after the BJP office incident, the house of CPI-M state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri came under similar attack, but BJP denied any role in it. Two police personnel who were on duty at the BJP office at the time of the incident have been suspended, officials said. This is the second attack on the BJP state office since September last year when a bomb was hurled at it.
Tension has been prevailing in some parts of the district since last night in the wake of the stone-pelting attacks on houses of both BJP-RSS and CPI-M workers, prompting strengthening of patrolling. Police said additional personnel had been deployed in various parts of the district.
Rajasekharan alleged that the law and order situation in the state had collapsed. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should explain and order a probe into “conspiracy of police officials in the attack,” he said. Condemning the vandalisation of BJP office, party state General Secretary M T Ramesh termed it as a “planned conspiracy” and alleged it would not have happened without the knowledge of CPI(M) state leadership.
The attack on party office was “a calculated attempt on the life of Rajasekharan,” he told reporters.
The CCTV visuals of the incident had clearly identified the attackers as DYFI and SFI leaders, he claimed. He also alleged that the assailants had police protection and one of the police personnel on duty had opened the office gate. “Only one policeman tried to stop, but he was also pushed around,” Ramesh said showing the CCTV visuals to reporters. Ramesh also said BJP had no role in the attack on the house of Kodiyeri’s son. “Let the police probe it,” he said adding CPI-M was clever in spreading “false propaganda”. Reacting to attack on houses of CPI-M workers, Balakrishnan charged that the BJP-RSS leadership had planned the incidents to divert the attention from the corruption charges over MCI approval issue which, he said, had tainted the face of BJP in the state.
“They need not think that such attempts will weaken the probe against BJP leaders,” he told reporters. He was referring to the vigilance probe ordered into allegations that a BJP functionary, who has since been expelled, had taken bribe for getting Medical Council of India approval to a private medical college. The BJP, which had expelled the functionary from the primary membership soon after the issue surfaced in public domain recently, has distanced itself from the issue, saying it was a financial fraud committed by an individual and the party and the Centre had no role in it. Reacting to the ongoing skirmishes, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said both BJP-RSS and CPI-M need to show self-restraint and desist from violence.
The CCTV visuals shown at the press briefing by BJP showed five persons, who came in three two-wheelers, pelting stones and breaking the glass panes of vehicles parked in front of the office.
One of the attacker was using a baseball bat and another a wooden plank. The visuals also showed a policeman posted at the office grappling with the attackers in a bid to stop them. However, soon after they hurled stones, they escaped.