Congress calls for shutdown in Kerala district

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Bengaluru: The Congress on Tuesday called for a 12-hour hartal in Kannur, following the murder of 30-year-old Youth Congress worker S.V. Shuhaib in North Kerala’s Kannur district on Monday night, allegedly by workers of the state’s ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM.

Congress’s leader of opposition in the Kerala assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, came out strongly against the CPM with accusations of “red terror”, a phrase typically used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological arm Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The region has witnessed a series of violent clashes between BJP-RSS workers and CPM workers over the last few years.

According to the Congress, Shuhaib,an office-bearer of the Youth Congress, and a few others were waiting in front of an eatery at around 10:45 pm last night. The party said four people came in a car and threw bombs. The men slashed the 30-year-old with a sword, the party said.Shuhaib was first rushed to a hospital in Kannur, but died while being taken to another hospital for further treatment.

“Not long back, a club of the Congress party came under heavy attack, after the CPI(M) leadership was upset when the children of the party leaders took part in a meeting. They unleashed an attack and Shuhaib was at the forefront to stop this. Since then the CPI(M) had announced publicly that his days are numbered,” said Kannur district Congress party chief Sateeshan Pacheni.

Cases under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 324 voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 302 (read with 34) of the IPC and sections 3 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act have been registered.No one has been arrested in connection with the incident and further investigations were on, police said.Meanwhile, the Congress has announced a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the district today against yesterday’s attack.

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