THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after the CPM-BJP clash at Kattayikonam in Kazhakooottam assembly constituency and the arrest of five ruling party members on Tuesday, Pothencode police started verifying the CCTV footage to check whether more persons are involved. Of the five arrested, one named Surjith, 35, was remanded to judicial custody while the other four secured bail on Wednesday. The police decided to verify the CCTV footage after getting complaints from CPM that BJP workers had triggered the clash.
“We are verifying the CCTV visuals and recording statements of witnesses. Some more persons are suspected to be involved and we will take action against them,” said Nedumangad DySP J Umesh Kumar who is leading the probe. He refuted the CPM’s allegations that the police had shown partiality by taking only its workers into custody. “We never showed any partiality or favouritism. We took action based on the initial evidence collected,” Umesh said.
Meanwhile, LDF candidate and Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Wednesday alleged that the police arrested CPM members as per the instructions of the Centre and he demanded action against the police officers who assaulted party workers. “There is no justification in apprehending only CPM workers. The action was taken based on the directions from BJP,” he said. According to NDA candidate Sobha Surendran, she herself had informed the election observers about the incident and then only the police started action.
The incident started at 11.30am on the polling day. CPM workers got into an altercation with BJP workers after the latter allegedly tried to influence the voters. Following this, the CPM workers attacked the BJP booth office. BJP booth agents Biju Kumar, Jyothi, Anamika, Aswathy and Vijayakumaran were injured.
Kazhakoottam NDA candidate Sobha Surendran, meanwhile, held a sit-in at Kattayikonam demanding stern action against the attackers.
She alleged a section of police officials were aiding the attack on BJP workers at the behest of Kadakampally Surendran. Roughly two hours later, BJP workers allegedly attacked two CPM workers near Kattayikonam in retaliation. The CPM said four BJP workers who had arrived in a car attacked its two activists. CPM workers re-grouped and chased away BJP workers. They later surrounded the abandoned car and ransacked it. When the police arrived, CPM workers demanded the car be checked thoroughly before being removed from the spot. Following this, the police checked the vehicle and found posters of NDA candidates of Nedumangad and Kazhakoottam constituencies.