KANNUR: The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the BJP after a party worker was hacked to death allegedly by CPM workers, at his house at Andaloor near Thalassery, was total in Kannur on Thursday.
Santhosh, 52, was attacked by a gang on Wednesday night. An unidentified group barged into the house of Santhosh, who was staying alone, and attacked him with lethal weapons. His wife, two children and mother were residing in another house as there was a dispute over the ownership of the house.
The police have registered a case against a group of CPM workers, following the complaint of a BJP worker Rajeesh. The BJP plan to take out a protest march in the morning and a funeral procession later in the evening led to tension in Kannur town. The BJP leaders and thousands of workers had assembled near the Jawahar stadium to take out a procession carrying the body of Santhosh in the evening. However it ended up in altercation between them and the police, who refused them permission citing that there was chance for violence if the procession was allowed through the road near the Kalotsavam venue.
The police and the district administration initially prevented them from taking out the procession. However the BJP leaders were firm on taking out the procession. However after almost three hours of stand-off between the police and BJP activists who were adamant on taking out a procession from the old bus stand to Mahatma Gandhi junction, where the events of the Kalotsavam were underway, the situation calmed down following the intervention of District Collector Mir Mohammed Ali.
The ambulance carrying the body with a few accompanying vehicles were allowed to pass through the road under heavy police security. Following this, the situation normalised. Earlier in the morning, the police fired seven tear gas shells at the BJP workers. This led to tension and party workers threw stones and broke the windowpanes of the NGO union offices affiliated to the CPM.
They also damaged the flex boards kept for the festival and also the boards of state Farmers meet. BJP state general secretary K Surendran, RSS state leader Valsan Thilankery and BJP district president P Sathya Prakash alleged that the CPM was behind the murder and the police were turning against them. Condemning the brutal murder of Santhosh and also the bomb attack on the RSS office at Thrichambaram near Taliparamba, Surendran alleged that the police remained a mute spectator to the planned murder and they were trying to prevent the peaceful protest and funeral procession.
Meanwhile CPM Pinarayi area secretary K Manoharan said they had no role in the brutal murder. He demanded that the police should arrest the real accused and if any person is found having links with the murder, the party will not protect him, he said in a statement. CPM leader P Jayarajan told reporters at a press meet that the party had no role in the murder. Evidence reveal that the RSS had planned the murder of Santhosh. He said the sniffer dog, which was brought to the crime spot reached the house of two RSS workers, who were at the house of Santhosh on the day of his death. Both of them were not at their houses on Wednesday, he said. The police should carry out a proper investigation to find out the real culprits, he said.