29-yr-old Youth Cong neta hacked to death in Kannur
In a gruesome incident of political violence, a 29-year-old Youth Congress leader was hacked to death late Monday night in Mattannur in Kannur district, known as the State’s Marxist heartland. The Congress alleged that CPI(M) was behind the murder but the district Marxist leadership rejected the charge.
SP Shuhaib, Youth Congress’s Mattannur block secretary, was attacked by a gang of four killers who came in a car when he was having snacks at a roadside food joint, Thattukada, at Theroor near Edayannur in Mattannur, a CPI(M) stronghold, along with friends Riyas and Noushad, also Congress workers.
The gang hacked Shuhaib, son of Muhammad and Ramla of Edayannur, and his two friends with machetes after creating a terror atmosphere by hurling bombs. The critically injured Youth Congress leader was taken to the Indira Gandhi Cooperative Hospital in Thalassery where he succumbed to the injuries. Shuhaib had suffered 37 hack injuries.
Eyewitnesses said Shuhaib suffered hack injuries in the legs and chest. His friends and Congress workers Riyas (36) and Noushad (28) were also injured and were undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kannur where doctors said their condition was stable. Police said the murder could have been related to incidents of violence that occurred in the area a few days ago.
The police have registered cases under Section 307 for attempt to murder, 324 for voluntarily causing hurt with lethal weapons, 341 for wrongful restraint and 302 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act. However, nobody had been arrested in connection with the incident till late Tuesday evening.
Protesting against the murder of the Youth Congress leader, the Congress and the Opposition UDF it leads observed a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Kannur district on Tuesday which was total and peaceful. The Congress accused the CPI(M) of unleashing “Red terror” in the State under the protective umbrella of the LDF Government.
However, P Jayarajan, CPI(M)’s Kannur district secretary, said his party had no role in the incident. “There were some problems in the Edayannur areas in the last few days but these were not serious enough to lead to such an incident. The party will examine the matter. We will take appropriate action if any partyman is found to have had any role,” he said.
A video of a CPI(M) demonstration that had taken place in Edayannur two weeks ago came out on Tuesday in which the activists were heard shouting slogans threatening to kill Shuhaib. “Shuhaib, your days are numbered,” was one of the slogans. But Jayarajan said, “It is to be examined whether the slogan had any connection with the murder.”
The police believe that the Shuhaib’s murder could have been related to the tension prevailing in the area for the past few days following certain incidents of violence. Tension was prevailing in the area following a conflict between Congress student’s outfit KSU and pro-CPI(M) SFI at a school in Edayannur three weeks ago.
There were some incidents of violence involving the Youth Congress and the CITU in the area and Shuhaib was under judicial remand for two weeks in connection with an incident. The police have stepped up security in the area by deploying a large number of personnel in order to avert further incidents.
Kannur is infamous for its history of political violence and the CPI(M) has invariably been on one side in almost all the incidents. Nearly 200 workers of the BJP-RSS and CPI(M) have lost lives in violence in Kannur in the past four decades. The Marxists are accused of considering Kannur as their country and using violence to disallow other parties to function in the district.
Condemning the killing of Shuhaib, Congress leaders said the incident was the latest example of Marxist terror in Kerala. “This proves that the CPI(M) is not prepared to give up violence which is in their blood. The Marxists think they can do whatever they like as they are in power,” said Congress Working Committee member and former Defence minister AK Antony.
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