THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ban orders are in force within city limits here following BJP-CPM clashes which led to tension at several areas of the state capital. Meanwhile, two police personnel have been suspended for alleged inaction when the BJP office came under attack from miscreants.The prohibitory orders imposed by the district administration will be in force for 72 hours.
The violence which broke out late on Thursday and early Friday was the fallout of long-running political rivalry between the two parties. The BJP state headquarters, houses of both BJP and CPM leaders, including the residence of Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, came under attack. Besides, six vehicles were damaged.The SFI state committee office too was targeted. However, a major tragedy was averted when a country bomb hurled allegedly by BJP activists did not go off. The City police arrested three SFI leaders and CPM’s Kunnukuzhy councillor I P Binu for allegedly attacking the BJP office. Besides, six BJP workers were arrested on the charge of unleashing violence and attacking the CPM leaders’ residences.
DGP vows stringent action
State police chief Loknath Behera ordered a probe into the violence outbreak and vowed stringent action against the culprits. “Strong action will be taken against the perpetrators. No one will be spared,” Behera said. A special police team has also been set up to investigate the incident. Over 400 police personnel have been deployed across the city to prevent any untoward incidents. Police have beefed up security for party offices here in view of the tense situation. There will be restrictions on staging demonstrations.
The trouble started late on Thursday after a seven-member gang of suspected DYFI activists allegedly led by councillor I P Binu targeted the BJP’s makeshift office at Kunnukuzhy in a retaliatory attack. The motorbike-borne gang threw stones at parked cars and brandished iron rods to damage the vehicles. The official vehicle of BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan was also damaged. Incidentally, Kummanam was there at the time as was a police team following intelligence inputs. Later, the BJP activists retaliated by allegedly attacking the residence of Bineesh at Maruthamkuzhy. According to the police, the violence was the fall-out of a dispute over student union elections at a private college at Airanimuttom near Attukal.
10 held : The Fort police arrested six BJP workers in connection with the attacks. They are Nishanth,37; Vishnu, 24; Vivek, 21 and Vivek Kumar, 20 from Nemom and Mukesh, 33 and Nidheesh Mohan, 26 of Kalliyoor and Pallichal, respectively. The police said more arrests are likely. The Museum police arrested SFI district secretary Prajin Saj Krishna and SFI district committee members, Sukesh and Jerin, besides councillor Binu from the Students’ Centre near the University College. They were also charged with nonbailable offences.
Police officers suspended
Two cops, Akhilesh and Shyam Vishnu of Kerala Armed Police 5 Battalion, have been suspended by City Police Commissioner G Sparjan Kumar for allegedly remaining mute spectators when the BJP office was attacked.
‘Intelligence inputs ignored’
Intelligence chief DGP B S Mohammed Yasin said police ignored inputs and specific warning regarding a possible attack on BJP state office. Yasin said he had submitted a report in this regard to Thiruvananthapuram Range IG Manoj Abraham and the CP on Thursday. He said a warning had been issued to the police in Northern Kerala.
‘CPM was aware of attempt on Kummanam’s life’
T’Puram: O Rajagopal MLA alleged the CPM leadership had been aware of the attempt on the life of Kummanam Rajasekharan. “The miscreants’ target was Kummanam,” he told reporters. BJP national executive member V Muralidharan also condemned the attack.