Bomb seizures in Kannur has authorities worried

November 16th, 2008 - 12:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyThiruvananthapuram, Nov 16 (IANS) Police in Kerala’s volatile Kannur district are a worried lot after the discovery of over 150 locally assembled bombs in three raids this week, including a massive haul of 125 bombs on Thursday.The police unearthed 18 bombs in Cheruvancherry on Tuesday, while on Thursday they found 125 bombs hidden in four bags in a hillock at Maliyadikunnu, and early Saturday 11 bombs were found at Chitarithotil.

The frequent political squabbles in the district, known as the unofficial headquarters of the Left, have led to a number of political killings. According to the state Crime Records Bureau, 75 people were killed in political violence in Kannur in the last three years.

Initially, frequent political squabbles broke out between the Communists and the Congress activists, but in the last decade, the Communists have been fighting with the activists of the saffron brigade led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The ruling Left has claimed that Cheruvancherry and Maliyadikunnu, where most of the bombs were unearthed, are strongholds of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh ( RSS). However, state BJP president P.K. Krishna Das has denied the allegation.

Das told IANS that the place where 125 bombs were unearthed is ruled by the Left, while the site where bombs were seized Tuesday is a stone’s throw from a popular temple.

“The version that the places where the bombs were seized are saffron strongholds is being propagated by the CPI-M. We demand a fool-proof probe into all the incidents,” Das said.

State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who incidentally hails from Tellicherry in Kannur, has formed a special squad to probe the large seizure of bombs.

“This is the first time that such a huge haul of bombs has taken place. A special squad has been formed and has been directed to continue the raids. It has been asked to keep vigil on already identified places where this illegal activity takes place,” said Balakrishnan.

S. Sreejith, superintendent of police, told IANS that the bombs unearthed were crude, with the main ingredients being arsenic sulphide and gun powder.

“These are very powerful bombs and can easily kill humans in a few seconds. The danger is that these can be assembled very quickly,” said Sreejith.

In March this year, in a stinging blow to the Left government, Justice V. Ram Kumar had allowed a petition seeking direction to transfer to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) a case pertaining to the killing of one Mohammed Fazal in Tellicherry in 2006. The judge had observed that the only solution to the political murders in Kannur district appeared to be timely intervention by the central government with deployment of sufficient forces who would not yield to those in power.

He noted that there was “urgent need for permanent action to curb further bloodshed and killings in Kannur district where manslaughter seemed to be a competitive sport”.

The judge also observed that Tellicherry taluk (sub-district) had over the years become a hotbed of political violence and carnage of the worst order.

“All political parties seem to be freely indulging in violence,” he noted. What was surprising was that the otherwise friendly people of the area “turned mad when the matter came to politics”.

“Very cunningly, the leaders of the parties escape unhurt in this cruel and bloodthirsty game,” Kumar said.

The real test for the police will come in a few months when the Lok Sabha polls are announced, as over the years Kannur has been identified as the most sensitive area when it comes to elections.

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