At least 10 Left party offices were vandalised in Kerala's Kannur district Wednesday night over the death of an IUML youth wing member in poll violence on Tuesday. Police resorted to baton charge to disperse the crowd.
Widespread violence took place during the funeral procession of the 22-year-old Youth League member, Mansur, who died in a post-poll clash allegedly between workers of the CPI(M) and the IUML on Tuesday as the state set out to vote for assembly elections.
District Collector T V Subhash has called an all-party peace meeting at 11 am on Thursday. Kannur Range Inspector General Venugopal K Nair said the situation was under control.
CPI(M) offices at Panoor in Kannur district have been attacked and burned, a party source from the district told PTI.
Kannur Superintendent of Police Ilango R told PTI that police resorted to baton charge and used grenades to dismiss the violent crowd in the Kolavellur police station limits.
"Around five-six persons, mostly IUML workers, were taken into custody after some miscreants have vandalised around five-party offices in Chockli and Kolavellur police station limits. A few more were also attacked in other places, he said.
Three police personnel got injured and a police bus was damaged. Houses of few accused in the murder case were also attacked, he said.
More will be taken into custody and a case will be registered, the officer said, adding that extra police force had been deployed and the situation was under control.
"I visited the spot. The funeral procession happened late in the evening and some people attacked the party offices in the dark. Only party offices were attacked, it seems," the Kannur Range IG said.
The CPI(M) Peringathur local committee office, branch committee offices in the town, Aachimukku, Keezhmadam, Kochiyangado and Kadavathur branch committee offices have been vandalised and a few libraries were burned down allegedly by the Indian Union Muslim League workers.
"At least five CPI(M) offices in Kannur district were gutted down by the IUML activists. Even though the police claim that everything was under control, the Muslim League workers are threatening the CPI(M) families," a party official told PTI.
Mansur had suffered critical injuries to his leg and was admitted to a private hospital in Kozhikode, where he was declared dead by the doctors, police said.
An alleged CPI(M) activist was taken into custody by the police soon after the incident, sources said.
The Youth league is the youth wing of the IUML, a key ally of the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front.
According to local witnesses, the incident happened when a clash broke out in Paral area in Koothuparamba constituency over allegations of bogus voting by around 8 pm on Tuesday.
A group of people waylaid Manusur and his brother Muhsin, a UDF poll agent, near their home and hurled bombs at them before attacking the youth with sharp weapons, they said.
Muhsin, who also sustained serious injuries, was rushed to the private hospital in Kozhikode.
While the IUML alleged that the ruling CPI(M) was behind the killing of Mansur, the Left party dismissed the charge and took a stand that it was not a political murder.
The Congress-led UDF opposition observed a strike at Koothuparamba on Wednesday.
Koothuparamba assembly constituency in the northern Kerala district of Kannur witnessed a fierce contest between K P Mohanan of the Lok Janatantrik Dal, a partner of the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front and Pottankandy Abdullah of the IUML.
(With inputs from PTI)