KOCHI: The Kerala High Court order directing the state government to initiate stringent action against politicians who calls to observe hartal and hold them responsible for the loss of property due to hartal-related violence, has landed leaders contesting the Lok Sabha polls in a tight spot.
BJP state general secretary K Surendran, contesting from Pathanamthitta constituency, had to file a fresh nomination on Thursday as he came to know that the police have booked 253 cases against him. Similarly, senior BJP leader AN Radhakrishnan, contesting from Chalakudy constituency, had to file an additional affidavit to the district collector when it was revealed that 126 cases have been registered against him in connection with the Sabarimala agitation.
Cases have been booked against most of the leaders of the BJP and Sabarimala Karma Samiti in connection with the violent incidents witnessed during a series of hartals called by the party to protest the alleged violation of existing customs and practices at the hill shrine.
As per the affidavit filed by Youth Congress president Dean Kuriakose, contesting the election from Idukki constituency, 173 cases have been booked against him at various police stations from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram in connection with the hartal called to protest the murder of two Youth Congress leaders at Periya, Kasargod, last month.
BJP state general secretary Sobha Surendran, contesting from Attingal constituency, is facing 40 criminal cases.
According to the leaders, the police have booked cases under non-bailable sections including attempt to murder and assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his/her duty. Other charges include rioting and unlawful assembly.