Violence in Kannur over IUML worker's death, CPM party offices set on fire

Kannur: At least 10 CPM party offices were vandalised and police resorted to baton charge as violence broke out in Kerala's Kannur district on Wednesday night over the death of an IUML youth wing member.

The CPM Peringathur local committee office, Panoor branch committee office and others in the town, Aachimukku, Keezhmadam, Kochiyangado and Kadavathur branch committee offices have been vandalised and a few libraries were burned down allegedly by the Indian Union Muslim League workers.

Some of the shops nearby were also destroyed. The attacks have raised concern in the politically sensitive district. A huge police force has now been deployed in the area.

District Collector T V Subhash has called an all-party peace meeting at 11 am on Thursday. Kannur Range Inspector General Venugopal K Nair said the situation was under control.

Widespread violence was witnessed during the funeral procession of the 22-year-old Youth League member, Mansoor, who died in a post-poll clash allegedly between workers of the CPM and the IUML on Tuesday.

Police resorted to baton charge and used grenades to dismiss the violent crowd in the Kolavellur police station limits.

"Around five-six persons, mostly IUML workers, were taken into custody after some miscreants have vandalised around five party offices in Chockli and Kolavellur police station limits. A few more were also attacked in other places," he said.

Three police personnel got injured and a police bus was damaged. Houses of few accused in the murder case were also attacked, he said.

More will be taken into custody and a case will be registered, the officer said, adding that extra police force had been deployed and the situation was under control.

"I visited the spot. The funeral procession happened late in the evening and some people attacked the party offices in the dark. Only party offices were attacked, it seems," the Kannur Range IG said.

As soon as the voting ended in Kerala on Tuesday night, violence broke out at Kannur - the strongest bastion of the CPM - between the Left workers and members of the Indian Union Muslim League that led to the death of Mansoor. His brother Muhsin, who was also attacked, is now being treated at a hospital in Kozhikode. Muhsin said the assailants, about 20 of them, asked for their names before attacking them. A crude bomb was thrown at the brothers injuring them. The autopsy report cites the cause of death was due to the bomb blast.

One of the attackers, who is a CPM member, was caught and was handed over to the police. Ten other suspects have been identified, the city police commissioner R Elango said.

While IUML alleged that the ruling CPM was behind the killing of Mansoor, the Left party dismissed the charge and took a stand that it was not a political murder.

However, putting the ruling party in a fix, police on Wednesday said it was suspected to be a political murder. Elango, who visited the crime scene, said the investigation is going on and the prime focus is to nab all the accused at the earliest.

The Kuthuparambu Assembly constituency witnessed a spirited poll battle between the CPM led Left candidate - KP Mohanan of the Loktantrik Janata Dal and the IUML candidate P Abdulla, while the BJP had fielded C Sadanandan.

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