Kannur: Even as CPM Kannur district chief M V Jayarajan sought to dissociate his cadre from the murder on election day, a cryptic comment from his predecessor’s son put the party on the defensive.
"(You) keep asking for it," wrote Jain Raj, son of former district secretary P Jayarajan. The Facebook message in Malayalam raised an outcry after the murder of Mansoor, a Muslim League worker at Pullookkara near Koothuparamba in Kannur district on Tuesday.
Mansoor and his brother Muhsin were hacked by a group of assailants near their house around midnight on Tuesday. Muhsin, who is being treated for his injuries in a hospital in Kozhikode, said the assailants, about 20 of them, asked for their names before attacking them.
Their neighbour Shinos, a CPM member, was taken into police custody. The police said that they had received clues about 11 people who attacked the brothers. The attack was the culmination of local disputes between party workers about casting an "open vote" and putting up party insignia on the eve of the election.
The CPM workers reportedly objected to the Muslim League workers giving a ride to voters to the polling booths. Though the differences were ironed out by mid-day, they later snowballed into a full-blown attack. A bomb was thrown at Mansoor’s house before hacking him and his brother. Mansoor died in a hospital in Kozhikode around dawn.
The Muslim League said that the violence was perpetrated by the CPM. Youth League leader P K Firoz said that Jain Raj’s Facebook post proof that the murder was planned. The Muslim League and its allies in the United Democratic Front have called for a hartal in Koothuparamba on Wednesday.
Dissociating himself and the party from his son's comment, P Jayarajan wrote on Facebook: “If my sons post was regarding the violence in Panoor, then I do do not subscribe to his opinion. Party workers must be engaged in bringing back peace to the region where an unfortunate death occurred.”
The CPM had more explaining to do when a DYFI member’s WhatsApp status message leaked out. "The (Muslim) League workers will surely remember this day for years," read the message. The Muslim League said they had pointed out the message to the police but there were no follow-up actions. A video of a CPM branch secretary intimidating a Muslim League worker in a polling booth in Koothuparamba was also doing the rounds.
The CPM district secretary, however, said that the party had no role to play in the murder. "The killers must be brought before the law and measures should be taken to contain the violence," Jayarajan told Manorama News. CPM acting state secretary A Vijayaraghavan also rejected claims that the murder was politically motivated.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the attack was part of a wider campaign by the CPM against the UDF. He said the CPM had launched a campaign of violence as it expects to lose the election. He also demanded repolling in Taliparamba and alleged booth capturing in the CPM stronghold.