AKG Centre 'bomb' scare latest in a series of attacks on party offices

AKG Centre
CPM leaders EP Jayarajan and PK Sreemathi look at the part of the wall of AKG Centre on which a bomb was reportedly hurled Thursday night. Screengrab

Thiruvananthapuram: Even as political sparring over Thursday's attack on AKG Centre, the CPM state headquarters, was carried out by miscreants, it has come to light that it occurred on the very same day the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Thiruvananthapuram, rejected the State Government's demand for withdrawing the case related to the targeting of the BJP state committee office in the same locality.

The BJP State Committee office was attacked on July 28, 2017 soon after stones were thrown at the house of the then CPM councillor of Kunnukuzhi corporation ward IP Binu. AKG Centre comes under the limit of the Kunnukuzhi ward. This was allegedly a retaliatory attack and a series of minor and major strikes and counter-attacks on party offices ensued.

What happened at the BJP headquarters

The then BJP president Kummanam Rajashekharan was present at his party office at the time of the incident. Though the police rushed to the spot, only one policeman was said to be active in preventing the crime. Later, a series of attacks occurred. The house of Binish Kodiyeri, the son of CPM State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, at Maruthamkuzhy and those of some other councillors came under attack.

Thereafter, a bomb was hurled at the SFI State committee office, but it did not explode. On the very next day, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) 'Karyavahak' Rajesh was hacked to death. Later, an all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reached an understanding that everyone should desist from attacking party offices. IP Binu was suspended from the party by the CPM.

Now, attacks after a hiatus 

After a long while, the party offices across the state are being targeted by workers of rival parties citing one grouse or another.

The office of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) was attacked last month. The attack on the office of Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi last month was also unexpected. And now, AKG Centre has been targeted.

Though there was police security at the front gate of the CPM headquarters, the incident took place at another entrance where there were no guards.

The Intelligence Department had warned that there might be chances of attack against party offices following the disclosures of gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh against CPM bigwigs.

Any BJP link?

The police are also examining whether the attack on AKG Centre has any links with the 2017 attack on the BJP state committee office.

The State Government sought the withdrawal of the BJP office attack case at the CJM court even though it was evident from the CCTV visuals how the assailants carried out the crime.

The accused in the case are IP Binu and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI)leaders Prijil Saj Krishna, Jerin and Sukesh.

When KPCC office became sitting duck

It was during the DYFI march on June 13 that Indira Bhavan, the KPCC headquarters, was attacked. This was in retaliation to the destruction of CPM flex boards in Thiruvananthapuram by Congress workers, who took to the streets against the Chief Minister over the allegations of Swapna Suresh.

Senior Congress leader A K Antony was present at the KPCC office during the time of the attack. A group of DYFI workers also entered the official residence of Opposition Leader in the Assembly VD Satheesan the next day.

It was on June 24 that Rahul Gandhi's office in Wayanad was attacked by the SFI workers on the buffer zone issue.

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