Rumours, violence spark panic in Kannur

via PNS | Kannur published on May 1, 2009

The people in the sensitive Koothuparambu, Panur, Thalassery and Mattannur areas, known for the CPI(M)’s murderous violence, are living in anxiety as rumours are spreading about a possible spurt in violence in the coming days. Though officials of the State police’s Special Branch are saying that there is no such situation at present, they are not confident enough to term the rumours as hollow hearsays.

BJP functionaries in the district said that there were incidents to suggest that the CPI(M) was up to some mischief in the district. They say that there were no reasons for the twin attack on BJP workers – one on Sunday in Mattannur and the other on Wednesday in Koothuparamba – and this indicated that the Marxists were trying to create provocation.

In Sunday’s attack, an RSS-BJP worker, Sajith, was hacked to death at Naduvanad, Mattannur. The police registered cases against 12 CPI(M) activists in relation to the incident. Biju, a friend of Sajith, suffered serious hack injuries in the attack. On early Wednesday morning, BJP activist Rajeesh (29) of Choyon Kannoth, Koothuparamba, was hacked by a group of CPI(M) workers. Rajeesh, a truck driver, was returning home after his assignment at around 0200 hours when was attacked by suspected CPI(M) activists.

The panic situation in the sensitive areas of Kannur district, known as the capital of Kerala’s Marxist terror, is worsened by the lack of effective steps to ensure the presence of sufficient police personnel in problem zones. With the return of the special police personnel posted for electoral duty to their respective camps, a sudden vacuum has been created in the law-enforcement system in the district.

Complicating the situation further, Inspector General (North Zone) V Santharam went on a long leave without making alternative arrangements. Santharam had left Kerala with his family for a vacation in Shimla after polling in the State, but he was asked to return to Kerala by the authorities when he was at Chennai airport. Irked at this, he went on a long leave, though without the authorization of the Director General of Police.

This has left the police forces in Kannur in a headless state and necessary replacement of personnel is yet to take place. Even police officials say that logistical and personnel; problems could play havoc in the district if anything serious happened now in the remote areas. They said incidents of political violence used to take place in Kannur whenever the police vigil had been slack.

The reasons for the sudden escalation in the people’s apprehension are the murder of the RSS worker in Mattannur, the rumours about the takeover of Kannur’s political violence by hired hoodlums and the several blasts that had taken place since April 16, the day of polling in Kerala. The people are not yet ready to believe the CPI(M) allegation that the Congress party had imported mafia hitmen into Kannur. But they suspect that the over-emphasis by the CPI(M) leaders on the Congress’s mafia relations is a screen for their own plans for unleashing violence in a large scale.

Though the CPI(M) leaders are swearing that the blast on April 16 in Kathiroor in which Ashish P Raj, son of Marxist MLA P Jayarajan was injured was an accident when he was handling simple firecrackers, there is suspicion that he had been injured while he was handling a country bomb. The reluctance on the part of the police to probe the incident and the delay in the visit of the forensic experts to the spot had strengthened this suspicion.

State BJP president PK Krishnadas said on Thursday that Kannur would not have lasting peace until and unless the district leaders of the CPI(M) and the criminals associated with them were arrested. He alleged that the CPI(M) district leadership was unleashing violence to check the outflow of cadres as they were convinced that the party would split after declaration of the results of the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP would hold a State-wide protest week from Friday demanding restoration of peace in Kannur.

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