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Murders of Youth Congress duo by CPM cadres heinous: Pinarayi

The chief minister, a CPM politburo member, made it clear that the party would not back the murderers

By K.M. Rakesh in Bangalore
  • Published 23.02.19, 3:11 AM
  • Updated 23.02.19, 10:48 AM
  • 2 mins read
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan Telegraph file picture

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday described the recent murder of two Youth Congress workers allegedly by CPM cadres as “heinous” and said such crimes should never be tolerated.

Four days after suspected CPM workers hacked to death the two Youth Congress workers in the northernmost Kasaragod district, triggering massive protests and violence by the Congress, Vijayan, also a CPM politburo member, made it clear that the party would not back the perpetrators of the crime.

“The CPM has no obligation to support a wrong deed. The government has taken strong action against this and police have been instructed to take appropriate action,” he told party workers after laying the foundation stone of a party office in Kasaragod.

Some local CPM cadres have been arrested for the murder of Youth Congress workers Kripesh, 19, and Sharath Lal, 24. The two leaders had suffered fatal injuries in the attack on February 17 in an isolated area of Kalliyode in the district.

Vijayan said the CPM took such matters seriously.

The investigating team has so far arrested seven suspects, all linked to the CPM local committee, and seized several weapons, including machetes and iron rods, allegedly used in the crime. One more machete was unearthed on Friday from a cashew nut grove 200 meters from the crime spot.

The chief minister refuted the Congress’s allegation that the state police were being misused. “The UDF (Congress-led United Democratic Front) may have misused the police (when in power). But there won’t be such misuse by the Left government,” Vijayan said.

“There will be strong action against all those who see politics as a licence to such killings. It is the government’s duty to ensure law and order in the state. But we need the cooperation of all parties,” he added.

The chief minister claimed that the CPM had been the worst affected in political violence in Kerala.

“CPM workers faced the maximum number of attacks, including murders, at the hands of the Congress. It is ridiculous that a section of the media is trying to make angels out of the same Congress,” Vijayan said.

The CPM and the Left government have been under sustained attacks from the Congress over the twin murders.

Having instructed the police to take action against the culprits even if they are CPM workers, the government has maintained it would never advocate such mindless violence.

A scheduled visit by the chief minister to the homes of the two victims was dropped at the last minute owing to alleged lack of cooperation from the Congress.

There was heavy deployment of police personnel at Kalliyode for the chief minister’s proposed visit to the deceased Youth Congress workers’ homes on Friday. But because of police reports on the possibility of Congress violence and the Opposition party asserting that Vijayan must not visit the homes of the victims because the alleged perpetrators hailed from his party, the plan was dropped.

Krishnan, the grieving father of Kripesh, expressed disappointment at the cancellation of the chief minister’s visit.

“We have no objection to the chief minister visiting us. He is our chief minister. We could have demanded a proper investigation (had he visited),” said Krishnan.

The murders had sparked widespread violence and protests by Congress workers.

Kerala High Court on Friday ordered state Youth Congress president Dean Kuriakose to compensate for all the damage caused during a shutdown organised by the outfit.

The court also ordered UDF leaders from Kasaragod, M.C. Kamarudheen and Govindan Nair, to compensate for all the losses in the district caused during an earlier shutdown.

The court directed the police to make Kuriakose an accused in all cases being filed over the destruction of property by his party workers.