Kerala has yet again erupted in political violence overnight with a slew of attacks being reported from Thiruvananthapuram and other parts of the state between Thursday night and Friday morning. Reports state that the different attacks involve β either as targets or as perpetrators β members of the BJP and CPI(M), who have been at loggerheads in the state.
Members of both parties are alleged to have vandalized party offices and homes, and damaged vehicles belonging to opponents.
The state committee office of the BJP in Thiruvananthapuram was attacked around 10pm. Six cars including that of BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan were damaged by several miscreants on bikes. Rajasekharan was reportedly in his office when the attack happened. A CCTV footage of the attack has since been released to the media. As many as 13 houses of BJP workers were also attacked, including that of BJP councilor SK Ramesh.
The chain of violence seems to have started after students belonging to the ABVP vandalised an SFI flag at the homeo college in Iranimuttam. Though the issue was sorted out after talks between SFI, ABVP and DYFI leaders, the attacks started later in the night. One of the first attacks to be reported was on DYFI Chala Area Secretary Unni's house.
Meanwhile, the Left party has alleged that it was BJP workers who unleashed violence first. House of Binesh Kodiyeri, son of CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in Thiruvananthapuram was also attacked. The BJP has alleged that CPI(M)'s Kunnukuzhy Ward Councillor IP Binu is behind the attack. The houses of CPI(M) district secretariat member Kattakada Sasi, Chala Area Secretary SA Sundar, Kalippankulam Ward Councilor Rasiya Beegum and DYFI Block President R Unni were also reportedly attacked.
It is not clear at the moment what led to the violence and which was the first incident of violence. The attacks are believed to have started at 10pm on Thursday night.
City Police Commissioner G Sparjan Kumar confirmed to TNM the attacks on the house of Bineesh Kodiyeri and the BJP office. So far, the police have not taken anyone into custody in connection with the attack.
He further said that the violence could have begun with a trivial issue of erecting banners at the government homeopathic medical college at Iranimuttam in Thiruvananthapuram between the SFI and ABVP workers. βIt happened on Thursday evening, worsened in the night,β he said.
Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, State Secretary of CPI(M) has blamed the BJP for the attacks. The BJP meanwhile has called it a failure of state police. "CPI(M) will never support such attacks. We do not endorse such attacks on houses and party offices of our political enemies," Kodiyeri said.