Mahe, Kannur shut down after two political murders in one night

Mahe, Kannur shut down after two political murders in one night

The attacks left Mahe and parts of the neighbouring Kannur district in Kerala tense on Tuesday. Image Courtesy: ANI/Twitter

Kannur’s history of political violence was back in focus on Tuesday amid a familiar blame-game after the killing of a CPM leader in neighbouring Mahe— which comes under the  Union Territory of Puducherry.

This was followed by the murder of an RSS activist in Kannur in a suspected retaliatory attack.

Babu Kannipoyil (45), a CPM Pallur local committee member and former Mahe municipal councillor, was hacked to death by a gang of eight men at about 9.15 pm on Monday.

About an hour later, Shamej Parambath, a local RSS activist and autorickshaw driver, was killed by armed assailants in New Mahe, in Kannur.

The killings left the region tense on Tuesday, with both the CPM and BJP-RSS calling for a dawn-to-dusk 'hartal' in Mahe and Kannur.

Police said Babu was attacked near the Koyyodan Koroth Temple in Pallur.

The CPM leader who sustained serious neck injuries died while he was being shifted to a hospital in Thalassery.

Shamej was returning home in his autorickshaw when a gang of armed men intercepted and attacked him.

He died while being shifted to the Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode.

Kerala police chief Loknath Behera said the police was coordinating with authorities in Puducherry on the investigation.

As Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured a comprehensive probe into the killings, the ruling CPM leadership  maintained Babu’s murder proved that the Sangh Parivar was not willing to end violence in the region.

CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the party leader’s killing was part of the RSS’ conspiracy to disrupt peace in Kannur.

BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said the onus for maintaining law and order in the region was with the state police.

The Opposition Congress also stepped up its attack against what it called a failure of the home department under the Chief Minister.