There was no let up in the tense situation that broke out at Taliparamba here as eight more motorcycles and a car were set ablaze on Saturday within 24 hours after four two-wheelers of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers had been torched.
Following the latest incident of arson which was believed to be a sequel to the torching of four motorcycles on Friday, the town and nearby areas that had been recurrently witnessing clashes between the CPI(M) and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) workers had been gripped by tension. Owners of the vehicles set on fire in the early hours of Saturday were said to be sympathisers of the IUML.
The unidentified assailants set fire to two motorcycles parked at the house of P.K. Abdulla Musaliyar at Nhattuvayal near Taliparamba at around 1-30 p.m. Some furniture was also damaged in the fire.
The motorcycles parked at the residences of P.S. Marzookh and P. Latheef at Nhattuvayal, C. Aboobacker at Ezhammile, and K.T. Musthafa near Kuppam also became the targets of the arsonists. The vehicles were completely damaged.
In another incident in the early hours, a car owned by businessman M. Moideenkutty was completely damaged when the vehicle parked at his residence near Plathottam was set on fire by the assailants. The arsonists poured petrol on the front and back seats of the car after breaking its windscreens.
The police said the latest incidents were apparently a retaliation of the incidents of arson on Friday in which four motorcycles had been charred. A large posse of police personnel had been deployed in the area in view of the outbreak of tension at Taliparamba. Police officers including Anup Kuruvila John visited the tension-hit areas.
IUML workers staged a demonstration at Taliparamba in the morning to protest against the torching of the vehicles owned by IUML sympathisers. They demanded that the real culprits behind the incidents be nabbed.
The recurring clashes involving the CPI(M) and the IUML activists in and around Taliparamba have raised concerns about the possibility of using the political hostility between the rival workers for triggering communal passions. Often, houses and shops were the targets of attack in the area. The police here have also been accused of not being vigilant o f the latest outbreak of tension.