The police on Friday arrested a local leader of the Indian Union Muslim League for his alleged involvement in the murder of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activist Abdul Rahman Hauf.
The arrested, Irshad (26), is the Youth League's Kanhangad municipal unit secretary. Irshad, who was injured during the clash that led to the murder, was being treated at a hospital in Mangaluru. Irshad has been under police surveillance at the hospital ever since the murder was reported. He was brought to Kanhangad on Thursday evening.
The investigation will be handed over to the Crime Branch.
The police suspect that political rivalry was the motive behind the murder. Three people, including Youth Leagu activists Isahaq and Hasan, are in the police custody.
Hauf, 32, was stabbed to death at Mundathode in Kalluravi, Kanhangad, in Kerala's Kasaragod district, on Wednesday night. He was a member of the DYFI's Kalluravi unit.
Police said the incident took place when Hauf and three of his friends were on their way to Bavanagar in two bikes late on Wednesday night.
They were intercepted and attacked by the accused and allegedly stabbed Hauf on his chest, they said.
Though local residents rushed him to a private hospital, his life could not be saved, police added.
The postmortem was conducted at the Kannur Government Medical College. The body was then collected by CPM leaders who took out a mourning procession for burial. Tributes were paid to Hauf at various centres under the leadership of party workers.
Hauf was an active member of the AP Sunni sect. But, some relatives say that he was not a DYFI activist. Hauf had taken part in the LDF's victory
demonstrations after the Front wrested Ward 35 of the Kanhangad
municipality from the UDF in the local body elections. The SSF and SYS
protested against the killing.
The CPM alleged that Muslim League activists were behind the killing.
Muslim League and CPM activists have been involved in clashes in Kalluravi under the Kanhangad municipality since the day of the counting of votes of the local body elections on December 16.
A video footage had recently emerged of alleged Muslim League activists attacking a family in their home in the 36th ward of the municipality for allegedly voting for the LDF.
The CPM has alleged that the killing was prompted by the LDF's gains in the local body elections.
However, IUML state leadership rejected the charges and demanded an unbiased probe into the incident.
Senior IUML leader K P A Majeed described the incident as 'unfortunate' and claimed that the party's local leadership here denied involvement of its workers in the crime.
Meanwhile, Muslim League offices in some parts of the district were attacked following the burial of Hauf.