Tension prevailed in Payyoli and its adjoining regions in the rural belts of the district following attacks on the houses of two activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M], including K. Chandu, secretary of Payyoli area committee, early on Wednesday.

The CPI(M) observed a dawn-to-dusk hartal at Thikkodi, Payyoli, Thurayur, and Mudadi grama panchayats in protest against the attacks. A posse of police personnel was deployed in the area to avert any further trouble. A majority of the shops and commercial establishments remained closed.

The police said unidentified persons had attacked the house of the area secretary at Kizhur possibly at 1 a.m. Windowpanes of the house were shattered in the attack. Later, the miscreants attacked the house of Kalathil Krishnan, a CPI(M) activist, at Perumalpuram at Payyoli on the National Highway. They also threw firecrackers inside the house. However, there were no casualties.

CPI(M) district secretary T.P. Ramakrishnan accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Sweyamsevak Sangh (RSS) of masterminding the attacks.

The BJP-RSS had been creating disturbance in the region, Mr. Ramakrishnan said. The police said the attack could be part of the ongoing conflict between the CPI(M) and the BJP after the murder of a Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh leader, C.T. Manoj alias Choriyanchalil Manoj, at Payyoli in February 2012.

One of the accused, Kalathil Suneesh, is the son of Kalathil Krishnan, whose house came under attack in the wee hours of Wednesday. Two separate cases were registered in connection with the incidents. None was held. Patrolling was also intensified in the area, the police said.