BJP, CM agree on Kannur peace

via Pioneer News Service | Thiruvananthapuram published on March 12, 2008

The State Cabinet on Wednesday decided to hold an all-party meeting in Kannur on Saturday to discuss the various issued concerning the violent incidents in Thalassery and adjoining areas in which five RSS-BJP workers and two CPI (M) activists were hacked to death in three days starting March 5.

After a Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan told newsmen in the evening that the all-party meet would start at 10 am on Saturday at the Kannur District Collectorate. The decision to hold the meeting at an earliest possible date was taken at a meeting between leaders of the RSS and the BJP and the Chief Minister at his official residence, the Cliff House, on Wednesday morning.

Earlier in the day, BJP State president PK Krishnadas and RSS Pranthik Saha Sangh Chalak KK Balaram agreed with the Chief Minister’s suggestion to keep and promote peace in the trouble-torn areas of Kannur district. Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in whose home constituency of Thalassery the murders took place, was also present at the meeting. At the meeting, the RSS and BJP leaders also agreed to take part in the all-party meeting the Chief Minister proposed to convene.

After the meeting, Chief Minister Achuthanandan told newsmen that the Government would look into all the complaints the RSS and BJP leaders had registered with him. He said the situation was now conducive for an all-party meet on the matter as desired by Opposition leader Oommen Chandy and several others. He said the RSS and BJP had agreed to take part in the meeting.

Achuthanandan said the decisions of the meeting with the RSS and BJP leaders would be binding on all leaders and sections right from the Central level to the panchayat and booth levels. He said the Government was of the belief that the stage was now set for everlasting peace in Kannur.

“The pact reached at between the two sides earlier not to repeat violence and to avoid conflict would continue like that,” the Chief Minister said. “The discussions taking place in the State are with the full knowledge of the Central leaders and so there would be no problems nationally,” he added.

He also said that the requests for granting compensation to the families of the victims of the violence would be considered with due seriousness. “We also hope that no leaders would now attempt to make provocative statements and speeches,” he said.

“They complained about their inability to carry out organisational works in the areas in question. Appropriate action would be taken on all such things after understanding the real situation through discussions,” Achuthanandan said.

Coming out of the Cliff House after the meeting, Krishnadas and Balaram said they had agreed to fully cooperate with the Government’s peace efforts. “We have also agreed to take part in the all-party meet the Chief Minister intends to convene on Kannur,” Krishnadas said.

“The biggest problem we face in Kannur is that we don’t have the democratic freedom to carry out organisational work. The BJP is not allowed to indulge in party work. The RSS is unable to conduct Shakhas. The Chief Minister promised that there would be efforts from the Government’s side to solve these problems. We have taken this promise on its face value and have agreed to cooperate with all peace efforts,” the BJP leader said.

Balaram said that his outfit would continue with the policy it had been pursuing in Kannur. “We had declared support for the Government’s peace efforts at the meeting at Kannur held by the Home Minister on Sunday. We have not violated that. We stand by that,” Balaram said.

Krishnadas said that they had raised the issue of compensation for the families of the victims of the Kannur violence. “We also requested for financial assistance to one of our leaders in Venmani panchayat of Alappuzha district, whose house was torched. Like that, we also asked for financial help for Sanoop, chairman of Sree Krishna College , Guruvayur, who is now in hospital after an attack on him at an exam hall. The Chief Minister has promised to look into all these things,” he said.

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