Kannur is on the edge once again. The politically volatile district in North Kerala saw a sudden and unprecedented bout of violence on Monday, that ended in two political functionaries losing their lives.
Babu Kannappoyil, an active CPI (M) leader, was hacked to death by a group of unidentified assailants a little after 10 pm on Monday. Babu was a former CPI (M) counsellor and was serving as Pulloor local committee member.
Almost immediately after the attack on Babu, clashes broke out between CPI (M) and BJP-RSS members. An auto driver and BJP man named Shamoj was hacked. Shamoj died late night as he was being rushed to the Kozhikode Medical College.
Another CPI (M) man is also reportedly critically injured in the clashes.
According to the police, Babu was hacked to death by a group of assailants in Pulloor. The police say that they are yet to identify the attackers. But the CPI (M) has accused the RSS of attacking and murdering Babu.
Shamoj was attacked at a place just 1.5 km away from where Babu was hacked.
Speaking to TNM, MC Pavithran, a CPI (M) leader from Kannur alleged that RSS was behind the attack on Babu.
"This attack on Babu was orchestrated with the knowledge and help of the district-level RSS leaders," the CPI (M) leader said.
CPI (M) has called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Mahe and Kannur district on Tuesday.
Screenshots of an RSS man celebrating the murder have begun doing the rounds, but the police say they need time to zero in on the perpetrators.
There had been an eerie calm for a few months between the two sides after leaders from both parties participated in peace talks.
Police sources told TNM that the situation was tense in the district and no new clashes had been reported till midnight.
However, protests have broken out in many places across the district with members of both parties coming to the roads.