Police attack on Kerala BJP leaders ; Tension prevails in Palakkad

via PNS | Palakkad published on December 2, 2010

Kerala BJP leaders including its former president PK Krishnadas and Palakkad district chief Krishnakumar were attacked by the police on Thursday during a procession carrying the body of RSS worker Ratheesh (24) who was hacked to death in a moving bus by a suspected CPI(M) killer gang at noon Wednesday.

Violent incidents following Wednesday’s brutal attack on RSS workers, in which three other Swayamsewaks were critically wounded, were reported from various places in Palakkad district on Thursday. A total of five CPI(M) activists came under attack on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Several houses and shops between Palakkad town and Puthussery to where Ratheesh belonged and where the brutal murder took place came under attack on Thursday. The police lathi-charged Sangh Pariwar workers at several points as the procession carrying Ratheesh’s body moved from Palakkad to Puthussery.

Clashes occurred between the police and Sangh Pariwar workers at various places. BJP functionaries including Krishnadas, Krishnakumar and several district and local level leaders came under attack from the police at Koottupatha, Palakkad, following which workers blocked National Highway 47.

The agitating Sangh Pariwar workers refused to move off the road and to take the funeral procession ahead. The hour-long blockade was lifted and the workers agreed to take Ratheesh’s body for cremation only after the District Superintendent of Police held discussions with the leaders.

Krishnadas said that the entire responsibility for Thursday’s untoward incidents in Palakkad district was with the police. Earlier in the day, he had alleged that Ratheesh’s murder and the brutal attack on the other Swayamsewaks were with the full knowledge of the district CPI(M) leadership.

An all-party meeting convened by the District Collector late Thursday evening resolved to take steps to restore peace in the area. The District Collector said that there were lapses on the parts of both the political parties and the police in controlling violence, according to the participants at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the hartal called by the Sangh Pariwar in Palakkad and Malampuzha Assembly constituency areas and Chittur Taluk in the district on Thursday was total. Shops and other commercial establishments remained closed while public vehicles kept off the roads.

There were reports of widespread CPI(M)-sponsored violence in Puthussery and nearby places ever since the results of the civic polls were announced on October 27. It is said that the CPI(M) had resorted to violence, infuriated by their defeat in Puthussery panchayat which they had been holding for a long time.

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