Thrissur: K.V.K. Panicker, veteran trade unionist and State executive member of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), died at a private hospital in Kochi on Thursday.
He was 74. The end came at 8.30 a.m.
He was formerly INTUC State general secretary and KPCC (O) general secretary. Mr. Panicker was a close associate of Congress leader K. Karunakaran in trade union activities in the early Sixties. Mr. Karunakaran was the eighth accused and Mr. Panicker the ninth accused in the Thattil Estate John murder case. He parted ways with Mr. Karunakaran when the Congress split in 1969.
Mr. Panicker contested the Lok Sabha election from the Thrissur constituency as a Janata candidate in 1980, and the Assembly elections from the Ollur constituency as a Congress (S) candidate in 1982. He was a close associate of the former Prime Minister Morarji Desai. Mr. Panicker returned to the Congress in 1985.
As a student, he had Communist leanings. Later, he chose to be a Congress worker, inspired by the ideals propagated by V.R. Krishnan Ezhuthachan.
An expert in labour laws, Mr. Panicker appeared in labour courts as a counsel in many cases.
He was also a playwright, with works such as Athirithi Rekha and Brahmasthram to his credit.
He is survived by his wife, Kanchanavalli, sons Kishore and Kalesh and daughter Kala.
The body will be cremated on the premises of his residence at Palakkal on Friday. It will be kept at the office of the INTUC here in the morning for the public to pay homage.