Kerala Youth Congress Worker Killed, Party Calls For Shutdown In Kannur

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 30-year-old Youth Congress leader was murdered last night in Kerala’s Kannur district. Police said a group of men allegedly first threw a country-made bomb, and then attacked the man with sharp weapons. Two other Youth Congress workers have been injured in the attack.

The Congress has called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Kannur in protest of the murder. Police sources say they suspect supporters from the ruling CPI(M) behind the attack.

According to the Congress, Shuhaib,an office-bearer of the Youth Congress, and a few others were waiting in front of an eatery at around 10:45 pm last night. The party said four people came in a car and threw bombs. The men slashed the 30-year-old with a sword, the party said.

Shuhaib was first rushed to a hospital in Kannur, but died while being taken to another hospital for further treatment.

“Not long back, a club of the Congress party came under heavy attack, after the CPI(M) leadership was upset when the children of the party leaders took part in a meeting. They unleashed an attack and Shuhaib was at the forefront to stop this. Since then the CPI(M) had announced publicly that his days are numbered,” said Kannur district Congress party chief Sateeshan Pacheni.

The CPI(M), however, has denied any role in Monday’s attack. “We will look into what has happened and if any of our party members are involved, then appropriate action will be taken. But what we are told is that our party has no role in it,” said CPI-M Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan.

​Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader in Kerala, Ramesh Chennithala said, “The police in Kannur is a mute spectator, as the CPI-M is in control of everything. They are striking at will to eliminate their political rivals in the most inhumane manner.”

North Kerala’s Kannur, where the murder took place, is a politically volatile town.

Kerala politics has been dominated by the Left and the Congress, with coalitions led by the two ruling the state by turns. The BJP and RSS are attempting to build their cadre in the state, with the BJP hoping to change its status of a marginal player by the 2019 general elections. In the state elections last year, won by the CPI(M)-led LDF, the BJP won a seat for the first time.