BJP targeting CPI-M in Kannur, says Left leader

March 9th, 2008 - 9:06 pm ICT by admin  

Kannur (Kerala), March 9 (IANS) The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has denied its hand in the recent spurt in violence in Kannur, blaming the blood-letting on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its associates with an aim to bring about “communal polarisation”. “The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP know very well that without defeating the CPI-M, they can’t engineer communal polarisation and that is why they are targeting us,” P. Sasi, CPI-M Kannur district secretary, told IANS.

He claimed that it was his party that had quelled the communal flare-up in Thalassery in Kannur district in 1971, and added that it wasn’t responsible for the current violence either.

“We did not retaliate when four of our activists were murdered by the RSS between November 5, 2007 and January 20, 2008,” Sasi said.

Kannur district has been a hotbed of political violence between the CPI-M and the BJP-RSS combine.

The current bout of violence started when an RSS leader was attacked in Thalassery town Wednesday. Three people lost their lives in retaliation by RSS and BJP activists and in counter-attacks by the CPI-M. While one person was killed Thursday, two others were murdered Friday.

The BJP, meanwhile, said it was ready to make peace in the region.

“But the initiative should come from the CPI-M, which is the ruling party and controls the police. It was the CPI-M that started the violence,” said M.T. Ramesh, state general secretary of the BJP.

“They won’t allow any other parties to function in Kannur. All the political parties are facing this problem. It is only the BJP that chose to oppose this. This is why we are being targeted,” he asserted.

However, the Congress party held both parties responsible for the violent clashes.

“The district has been witnessing violence for almost four decades. The reason is that we have leaders who have no qualms in promoting criminals. The CPI-M and the BJP are the two sides of the same coin,” alleged Mullapalli Ramachandran, Congress leader and former parliament member from Kannur.

“We have observed that it is was criminals on parole who led the recent violence. The political leadership is ready to protect them to any extent,” he remarked.

He stressed that those getting killed were poor people. “The leaders are well protected by their own cadres or the police. These leaders, if they want, can stop the violence within minutes,” Ramachandran said.

The Congress leader alleged that the ruling CPI-M had appointed pliable police officers so that it could manipulate the law and order situation in Kannur.

K.J. Joseph, former Kerala director general police, who has played a key role in quelling major outbreaks of violence in the region, agreed.

“Partisan police is the main reason for violence here,” he said. The people who commit political murders are seldom booked, Jospeh noted.

“To end violence in Kannur, police need not act tough. They need to just remain impartial,” he said. “The decision to start the killing is political and its end also has to be political.”

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