Congress leaders visit villages Congress leaders visit houses of victims of violence in the village
THALASSERY: Moozhikkara, a village not far from the house of Minister for Home Kodiyeri Balakrishnan here, is peaceful now. Fear, however, stalks the households.
Only 10 days ago, tension erupted in the village after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) workers clashed. A worker of the latter was seriously injured in an attack and five houses were vandalised in retaliation.
C. Vinodan was stabbed by a group of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers on January 28. One of his palms was nearly severed. He has been in a hospital in Kochi after an emergency surgery.
The attack, in an area where the CPI(M) is strong, was retaliated. The houses of BJP and RSS supporters in the neighbourhood were vandalised.
Karthyayani, Mr. Vinodan's mother, and Praseetha, his wife, are still to come out of the shock. Women in the houses that came under retaliatory attacks are living in fear, as many men, mostly BJP workers, have left, fearing attacks.
Chathampally Karthyayani and Chathampally Kausalya, mothers of BJP workers, said they were living in an atmosphere of intimidation. Their houses are among those vandalised.
The house of Appu Ashari, Centre of Indian Trade Unions area committee member, was attacked, as his son is a BJP supporter. He said that though he was a CPI(M) worker, everybody in the house, including he, had run to safety on seeing the group wielding sword-like weapons.
The nearby house of Sarojam Parambath, wife of a deceased CPI(M) worker, had also come under the attack. Two of her sons were BJP workers. The house of Kallilparambath Padmini, which had been vandalised, is locked as the family moved to a relative's house elsewhere.
Congress team's visit
A team of Congress leaders in the district, headed by K. Sudhakaran, MLA, outgoing District Congress Committee president Sunny Joseph and his successor, P. Ramakrishnan, visited the house of Mr. Vinodan and the five damaged houses on Tuesday. The families gave vent to their fears to the team.
Talking to presspersons, Mr. Sudhakaran said the situation had worsened owing to the inertia of the police. He alleged that the police personnel deployed here were learnt to have been instructed not to intervene in stopping the attacks. The culprits were yet to be arrested. There was an unholy axis between the assailants and the police, he added.
Stating that Mr. Balakrishnan could not ensure law and order in his native village, Mr. Sudhakaran alleged that no person from outside was allowed to visit the village by CPI(M) workers after the incidents. The Home Minister's "irresponsibility" was dragging Thalassery back to the 1980s when it had been gripped by political violence and murders, he added.