Congress steps up protests against CPM over Kannur political murders
Ernakulam: The Congress party in Kerala has stepped up protests against the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM over political killings in Kannur district, after the murder of a 30-year-old Youth Congress worker S.V. Shuhaib three days ago.
It has warned of protests if the police fails to make arrests in the case and show substantial progress in investigation by 20 February.
On 20 February, top Congress leaders and former chief minister Oommen Chandy are also expected to visit Shuhaib’s house.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders are holding a relay hunger strike in Kannur to protest against the murder. According to regional television reports, Shuhaib was facing threats from CPM workers in the area after he intervened in a tussle between pro-CPM and pro-Congress students over tearing up of a red flag in a local school. Many of the state leaders of the party are camping in Kannur, attending protest meets and planning further agitations.
Krishna Allavaru, the party’s all-India joint secretary and a close aide of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, visited Shuhaib’s house on Thursday. Congress’s opposition leader in Kerala, Ramesh Chennithala, visited the house on Wednesday and said the murder should be registered under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act because it involved the use of explosives and was planned meticulously like a terrorist attack.
Shuhaib was murdered outside a local tea shop in Kannur apparently over political differences with CPM workers in the area. The police filed a first information report on Wednesday suggesting political rivalry as the murder motive. The police took into custody for questioning three people on Wednesday, including a local CPM-affiliated trade union leader, but has not made any arrests so far.
“This should be probed by a central agency like CBI,” said K. Sudhakaran, former MP and Congress leader from the region who was apparently close to Shuhaib, over phone. He alleged that Shuhaib had faced death threats from the CPM days before he was killed.
CPM district secretary P. Jayarajan denied any involvement with the murder and said the party will take stern action if any of its members are involved.
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