KOTTAYAM: Tension prevailed in Vaikom town till late night on Tuesday after CPM and BJP-RSS followers clashed with each other at Muriyankulangara over the destruction of a flex board erected by BJP followers regarding Sabarimala women’s entry issue. The BJP called a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Vaikom taluk on Wednesday in protest against the incident.
According to sources, several persons belonging to both sides were injured in the clash, which occurred around 7.30 pm.
According to the police, the clash erupted following a protest march organised by the DYFI in the town around 7 pm. While BJP - RSS activists alleged the tension commenced after CPM leaders destroyed the BJP’s flex board near RSS karyalay in the town, CPM followers said RSS - BJP activists were unleashing violence upon a rally organised by the DYFI in protest against physically assaulting a woman, who made a Facebook post favouring women’s entry at Sabarimala.
“Earlier on Monday, CPM local secretary destroyed a flex erected by us against the CPM supporting Rehana Fathima to trek to Sabarimala. When we erected the same flex again near the RSS karyalay, a group of CPM workers arrived by 7.30 pm on Tuesday and destroyed the flex. “They also pelted stones at the karyalay and several workers were injured in the incident,” R Somasekharan, RSS Vaikom district Karyavahak, said.
Meanwhile, CPM leaders denied the allegation and said BJP - RSS workers attacked them when the rally passed through the RSS karyalay.
Kottayam SP Hari Sankar said sufficient forces, including a platoon of striker force from AR Camp, has been deployed in Vaikom under the leadership of Vaikom DySP K Subhash to prevent the escalation of violence.
“The situation is under control in Vaikom. However, we will deploy more force on Wednesday morning taking into account the gravity of the issue,” he said.