Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday termed the violence in the State during the hartal called by the Popular Front of India (PFI) a day ago, as a premeditated one and said the culprits would not be spared.
Vijayan, while addressing a senior police officers association's event here, condemned the violence and said it resulted in destruction of public and private properties. "In yesterday's (Friday) hartal, led by the PFI, Kerala witnessed premeditated violence. The State witnessed an organised and violent interference from their part resulting in huge loss to the State," Vijayan said.
The Chief Minister said it was an attempt to destroy the peaceful atmosphere and that the culprits would not be spared. Vijayan said during the hartal, they attacked public transport vehicles and many were wearing face masks to hide their identities.
"They were attacking in a pre-planned manner resulting in a huge loss to the State. It is highly condemnable," the Chief Minister said. He lauded the efforts of the police, saying they took stern action in controlling the violence.
"Strong action was taken and many were arrested. Police have started identifying those who engaged in violence covering their faces. We will identify them and no culprit would be spared. Police will bring those responsible to justice," Vijayan said.
Meanwhile, the police said a total of 281 cases were registered in connection with the September 23 violence and 1,013 arrests were recorded. 819 persons are under preventive detention. The Left leader said some political parties have joined hands with such elements for temporary benefits and asked them to rethink on their association.
"Here, communal elements are showing terror behaviour. Communal-terror elements can never bring together our nation. They have their own agenda. Secular minds should not encourage any sort of such propagandas," Vijayan said.
In near simultaneous raids across the country, a multi-agency operation spearheaded by the NIA on September 22 led to the arrest of 106 activists of the Popular Front of India in 11 States for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country, officials had said.
The PFI had declared hartal in Kerala on September 23 protesting against the raid on its offices and the arrest of its leaders and the State witnessed widespread violence.
(With PTI Inputs)