They were on their way to tension-hit Ariyil; hartal in Kannur today
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders, including T.V. Rajesh, MLA, and party district secretary P. Jayarajan, were allegedly manhandled by a group of suspected Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) workers at tension-hit Ariyil, near Taliparamba, on Monday.
Five persons, including Mr. Rajesh, Mr. Jayarajan, who were travelling in a vehicle on their way to Ariyil, which had witnessed clashes between CPI(M) and IUML workers on Sunday, were assaulted at around 11.50 a.m. They have been admitted to a hospital at Taliparamba.
The others injured in the attack included party local leaders K. Balakrishnan, P. Mukundan, and A. Rajesh. Deshabhimani reporter Rajeevan and photographer Dileep Kumar, Kairali TV reporter Shijith Vayannur and cameraman Baburaj were also allegedly assaulted by the IUML workers.
The CPI(M) called for a 12-hour district hartal on Tuesday in protest against the attack.
According to the police, CPI(M) leaders were travelling in a jeep accompanied by the vehicle of the Kairali TV and an autorikshaw carrying party local functionaries.
When they reached the area, a mob of suspected IUML workers damaged the vehicles and manhandled the leaders inside the jeep.
The CPI(M) leaders then went to the Taliparamba Police Station in their damaged vehicles. By that time irate CPI(M) workers assembled near the station and threatened to stage a protest in front of the station against non-deployment of police personnel at Ariyil in view of the visit of the party leaders there in the morning.
The police said that the injured leaders remained in the station for some time till they were persuaded by police officers to get themselves admitted to hospital.
The CPI(M) leaders were on a visit to the area in the wake of the outbreak of tension there following the attack on a CPI(M) local leader on Sunday by alleged IUML workers.
The area is an IUML stronghold which witnessed clashes between workers of the two rival parties.
Vehicle hits youth
While the CPI(M) leadership here termed the attack on the party leaders on Monday as pre-planned, the IUML sources said that their workers were not involved in the incident which, they said, was the outcome of the local people's anger after a youth was injured when allegedly hit by the vehicle carrying party leaders.
The police said that K.P. Ansar, 25, suffered injuries at around 11.45 a.m. when he was allegedly hit by the CPI(M) leader's vehicle.
DYFI workers took out a march here in the afternoon in protest against the attack. The police said that a case was registered against 100-odd identifiable people in connection with the incident at Ariyil. The police were taking extra vigil in view of the tension.
Special Correspondent writes from Thiruvananthapuram: CPI(M) State secretariat has termed ‘a major threat to peaceful life in Kerala' the violence unleashed by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) workers in Kannur district.
In a statement issued in the wake of the attack on CPI(M) Kannur district secretary P. Jayarajan on Monday, the CPI(M) leadership said the Muslim League had launched the attack on the car in which Mr. Jayarajan and DYFI State secretary T.V. Rajesh were travelling with the intention of killing Mr. Jayarajan. Journalists and non-journalist employees of Deshabhimani, Kairali TV and a local TV channel had also come under attack. Mr. Jayarajan and others escaped only because of the timely action of the vehicle driver, the statement said.
Mr. Jayarajan and others had reached the locality in Taliparamba to make an on-the-spot study of the attacks on CPI(M) workers by Muslim League activists over the past two days.
Muslim League should not think that it could persist with such wanton violence because they were in power and should put an end to their violent acts, the CPI(M) secretariat said.