The CPI(M) has accused the Congress of planning the attack, while the opposition has denied the allegation. An investigation to ascertain the attacker’s identity is underway.

AKG Centre, facebook photo
news Violence Friday, July 01, 2022 - 13:53

Tensions have escalated in Kerala after an unidentified person hurled an explosive substance at the state headquarters of the ruling CPI(M) late on Thursday, June 30. Police said the explosive substance was hurled at the AKG Centre, situated in the heart of capital city Thiruvananthapuram, by a motorbike-borne man at around 11.30 pm. CPI(M) leaders who reached the spot alleged that it was a "bomb attack". Some party leaders, who were staying at the AKG Centre, said they heard a powerful blast outside the building.

Police were alerted immediately and a team of top officials inspected the spot and CCTV camera footage. A bomb squad also inspected the spot. CCTV visuals released by the CPI(M) through the official media group of the AKG Centre showed a man reaching the spot on a motorbike and hurling the explosive at the building, and then fleeing the spot. The explosive hit the stone wall of the AKG Centre. Senior CPI(M) leader and LDF convener EP Jayarajan, who stays in the neighbourhood, alleged that the Congress was behind the move and appealed to the CPI(M) workers to remain calm.

The CPI(M) suspects the role of Congress in the incident, as it comes weeks after Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s office was vandalised in Wayanad, allegedly by members of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI). Meanwhile, many state ministers, including Finance Minister KN Balagopal and Education Minister V Sivankutty, rushed to the spot once news of the explosive attack emerged. Several workers of the CPI(M) took out a protest march in the city. Protests were also seen in Pathanamthitta and other parts of the state. As the tense situation prevailed, the police tightened security around offices of the Congress in the state.

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has called for a peaceful protest. Accusing the Congress-led UDF of deliberately creating provocation, Balakrishnan urged the party workers not to “fall in their trap”. An investigation has been launched to identify the culprits behind the attack, police said.

In his reaction, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, VD Satheesan, said the Congress party leadership had no knowledge of the midnight incident and would cooperate in the investigation to ascertain the truth.

Noting that the people of the state “clearly know that the Congress party and its workers were not the ones to plan and execute such attacks”, he asked the ruling party to explain on what grounds they were levelling charges against them. "The CCTV visuals were not clear... Let the police probe and find out the real culprits.. The Left government is facing a series of allegations and they are on the defence due to our ongoing protests. Those who want to shift the attention and focus from the present issues are the ones behind the attack," he told reporters.

Asked whether he was suspecting that CPI (M) itself was behind the attack, Satheesan did not give a clear reply.

"It is an important day for us due to Rahul Gandhi's Kerala visit. Do you think we would attack the AKG Centre and shift the focus from the present issues being faced by the government?" the Leader of the Opposition asked. KPCC chief K Sudhakaran also rejected the Marxist party's allegation and accused LDF Convener E P Jayarajan of 'masterminding' the attack against the party headquarters.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up at the party offices of the Congress and CPI(M) in various places in the wake of the incident.

The incident comes ahead of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's visit to his constituency Wayanad on Friday.

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