A BJP worker who was driving an autorickshaw was waylaid and attacked, allegedly by six suspected CPM workers, in Kannur district on Tuesday morning, in the presence of five schoolchildren travelling in the vehicle.
The incident, which is believed to be part of the recent bout of violence between CPM and BJP in the district, took place at Chokli, a politically sensitive area in Kannur.
According to the police, E K Biju, 39, was taking the schoolchildren, all aged below 10 years, to a local school in his autorickshaw when six men in masks stopped the vehicle and pulled him out. He was hacked multiple times on the upper part of his body.
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“The blood splashed on the uniform and schoolbags of the children. As the shocked children raised an alarm, local people rushed to the spot and took the injured auto driver to a hospital in Thalassery. Later, he was shifted to a medical college in Kozhikode. He is now out of danger,’’ said police sources.
Biju was once an accused in the 1999 murder case of CPM activist Kanakarajan. However, he was acquitted by the trial court.
In Chokli last month, a CPM activist was pulled out of his shop and hacked, allegedly by men linked to the BJP.
“The auto driver in Tuesday’s incident was not involved in that attempt to murder case. Hence, we are probing if there was any other reason for targeting Biju. He did not get involved in any crime since he was acquitted in the murder case of 1999. We don’t have any information indicating that he was targeted by rivals,’’ sources said.
Tuesday’s attack in the presence of schoolchildren brought back memories of the murder of young BJP leader K T Jayakrishnan Master in a classroom at Mokeri in Kannur district on December 1, 1999.
A CPM-backed gang was alleged to have stormed the classroom and hacked Jayakrishnan Master to death in front of schoolchildren.