BJP calls for Kerala bandh after worker’s murder, demands CBI probe (Fourth Lead)

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Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The BJP called for a protest shutdown in Kerala on Thursday and demanded a CBI probe after one of its activists was murdered on Wednesday allegedly by CPI-M members in Pinarayi village in Kannur district.

The BJP also accused the state’s Left Democratic Front government and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of unleashing “political terrorism” in Kerala.

Condemning the murder of Remith, a 26-year-old driver, Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah alleged “political vendetta” was the reason for the attacks on party workers in the southern state.

“Murder of Remith in Pinarayi is disturbing. Attacks on BJP karyakartas (workers) in Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s home constituency is a matter of grave concern and smacks of political vendetta,” Shah said on Twitter.

The BJP President said Remith’s father Chavassery Uttaman was similarly killed in 2002.

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“I strongly condemn this gruesome murder and call upon all leaders across the political spectrum and national and regional media to join in this condemnation as violence has no place in a democratic country,” Shah later said in a statement in Delhi.

“The repeated occurrence of political violence in Kannur district and in the native village of the Chief Minister clearly shows these are sponsored killings by the Marxist cadres with the Chief Minister’s active patronage,” he added.

Shah demanded that the investigation into the murder of Remith be expeditiously handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation by the Kerala government.

Remith was attacked in front of a petrol pump in Pinarayi, a police official said. The crime spot is near Chief Minister Vijayan’s house.

Remith’s murder followed the killing of 52-year-old CPI-M grassroots leader K. Mohanan, who was hacked to death by suspected Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activists on Monday.

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Both murders took place in Vijayan’s Dharmadom constituency.

BJP spokesperson G.V.L. Narsimha Rao accused the Chief Minister of patronising criminals.

“One can clearly make out that this is political terrorism unleashed by the LDF goons with the blessings and support of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. When the Chief Minister’s patronage is available to criminals, you can see the mayhem they can unleash,” he said in Delhi.

Rao said the ruling UDF led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist was unleashing terror on its political rivals as it was unnerved by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s rise in the state.

“Unnerved by the BJP’s rise as well as to divert attention from the corruption in Kerala, these attacks are being orchestrated,” Rao said.

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“The state government has not only failed to preserve law and order but actively participated to wreck it. We demand the LDF government and the Chief Minister to immediately hand over the murder probe to the CBI,” the BJP spokesperson said.

The bandh announcement was made by state Bharatiya Janata Party President Kummanem Rajashekeran.

Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala called upon the CPI-M and the BJP to end the politics of murder.

“The situation in Kannur has turned worse and people are living in fear over the way the two parties are taking on each other,” Chennithala said. “The police appear to have lost control of the situation.”

Ever since the Left government assumed office in Kerala in May, four BJP and three CPI-M workers have been killed in Kannur district.



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