Shutdown in Kerala town following arrest of RSS men

May 5th, 2008 - 9:12 pm ICT by admin  

Kannur (Kerala), May 5 (IANS) The Thalassery assembly constituency in Kerala’s Kannur district observed a shutdown Monday in response to a call by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to protest the arrest of three activists Saturday. The three RSS activists were held in connection with the murder Jan 26 of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Jijesh.

The dawn-to-dusk shutdown was peaceful except for an incident where BJP-RSS supporters smashed the windscreen of a car, police said.

Thalassery sub-district is a hotbed of political violence involving activists of the RSS-BJP combine and the CPI-M. In March, three days of violence claimed seven lives and calm was brokered at an all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

According to RSS, the arrest of its activists is against the agreement reached at the peace meet. “Those arrested are innocent. The police are acting in a biased manner. We have taken up the issue with the chief minister,” Valsan Thillankery, the state sahaprachar pramukh of RSS, told IANS.

The RSS says five police teams which probed the murder of Jijesh found that its workers were innocent.

“The police have interrogated thousands of people based on the phone calls made at a particular time. They also quizzed our activists and found them innocent. CPI-M is keen to implicate RSS workers in this case,” he added.

The RSS alleges that police officers who found its activists innocent in the case were transferred and the probe was handed over to a new team.

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