CPM office set on fire ahead of harmony meet

The office of the Communist Party of India (Marxists) was set on fire at Thokkottu on Wednesday night ahead of the party’s harmony meet. 

 Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is scheduled to address the meet to be held at Nehru Maidan in the city on Friday.

The incident, that came to light on Thursday morning, is learnt to have occurred late on Wednesday night. The posters and flex boards related to the rally kept inside the office and documents in the almirah have been reduced to ashes due to fire. Furniture and TV set have also been gutted. The total loss has been estimated at Rs 50,000.

It is suspected to be a handiwork of Right Wing activists, who have called for a massive protest on Friday followed by a bandh on Saturday, in protest against Vijayan’s participation and address in the rally.

Purushottam, who owns a cyber shop near the CPM office, noticed the door ajar. He went near the office and noticed the smoke billowing from the premises. He informed the matter some of the party workers, who later alerted Ullal police. Sniffer dog squad was also pressed into service.

DCP (Crime and Traffic) Dr Sanjeev Patil, Inspector Gopikrishna, SI Rajendra visited the spot.

Flexes damaged

That apart, flex boards erected at various places, welcoming Vijayan, at Derlakatte, Kuttar and Pandit House have been damaged by unidentified miscreants. Separate complaints have been lodged in this regard at Ullal and Konaje stations.

Meanwhile, CPM leaders K R Sriyan, Balakrishna Shetty, Vasanth Achary have condemned the incident.

Khader’s visit

Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader visited the CPM office  and took stock of the situation.

Speaking to media persons during his visit to CPM office, located in Mangaluru constituency (formerly Ullal) represented by him in the Legislative Assembly, Khader said adequate security arrangements will be made to safely escort Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan from Talapady (the entry point of Karnataka to Mangaluru from Kerala side) to the city on the day of harmony meet.

Khader also said that he will hold talk with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister G Parameshwara to provide total security to the meet. He condemned the incident and described those behind it as traitors for trying to disrupt peace. Senior police officers have been already directed to trace the perpetrators, he added.

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