Swayamsevak’s Murder – Pavaratty tense as Byju cremated

published on August 22, 2008

Courtesy: dailypioneer.com

 Thrissur : Tension refused to subside on Friday in the trouble-torn Pavaratty area in Thrissur district where an RSS-BJP worker, Baiju (24), was hacked to death allegedly by activists of Islamist outfit NDF (National Development Front) on Thursday. Four houses in the area came under attack even as the body of Byju was cremated at his residential plot in Maruthayur, Pavaratty, after a long and tense standoff between RSS-BJP activists and the police on Friday afternoon.

Police personnel in large numbers under the leadership of the District Superintendent of Police continued their watch over the area while a hartal was observed by BJP-RSS in Manalur Assembly constituency area and in the limits of Chavakkad and Guruvayur municipalities.

Byju, a taxi driver by profession, was gruesomely hacked by three suspected motorcycle-borne NDF activists at a fuel pump at Puvathur while he was filling diesel in his car at about 9.30 am on Thursday. He was rushed to a private hospital but succumbed to injuries by about 1.00 pm.

The killing of Byju sparked off violence all over the area resulting in attacks on three persons, including an NDF worker, Kabeer and a couple. Two houses came under attack in the afternoon and a bus was set ablaze. Police took 12 persons, belonging to both camps, into custody as a precautionary measure. The number of persons who were taken into custody by the police rose by Friday morning and the BJP said 18 of their workers had been in police custody though it was a BJP worker who had become the victim of violence.

Tension in the area grew in the morning after the BJP workers refused to receive the body of Byju on completion of the postmortem procedure. A standoff between the police and the BJP ensued after the latter said they would take over the body only if ten of their workers, taken into custody, were released. Several rounds of talks between the police and the BJP-RSS leaders failed to produce result. Late in the afternoon, the police agreed to allow the ten BJP workers to take part in Byju’s funeral and this led to the ending of the standoff. The body was later cremated at Byju’s residential plot in Maruthayur.

People of Pavaratty and the surrounding areas chose to remain indoors in the context of the hartal and the two-week prohibitory orders clamped in Pavaratty police station limits by District Collector VK Baby immediately after the murder of Byju. Vehicles kept off the roads and all shops and commercial establishments remained closed. Police officials said that raids would continue for suspect elements and for hidden weapons.


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