The BJP’s state committee office in Thiruvananthapuram was attacked in the early hours of Friday allegedly by local leaders of the CPI(M) and the SFI, the party’s students’ wing, followed by what appears to have been a retaliatory attack on the house of CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri. The events came soon after houses of several local CPI(M) and BJP leaders were attacked by cadres of the other party on Thursday night.
Following the violence, prohibitory orders were clamped in some parts of the state capital. A few people, including CPI(M) councilor I P Binu and local SFI leader Sajin Krishna, were taken into custody by the police. Binu and Krishna were purportedly caught on CCTV camera throwing stones at the BJP office and damaging vehicles parked outside.
The CPI(M) has suspended Binu from the party. Balakrishnan, taking strong exception to the attack on the BJP office, has urged party cadres to be restrained.
The violent incidents in the intervening night of Thursday and Friday come on the heels of stray incidents of attacks by both camps on activists of the other at Kattakkada in Thiruvananthapuram district over the last two days. Late Thursday night, houses of about 10 local CPI(M) and BJP workers at Manakkadu and Attukal areas of the city were targeted, and vehicles parked outside were damaged. The area has been tense following a fight over elections at a local college.
Around 2 am on Friday, a group of alleged CPI(M) men attacked the BJP’s state committee office. The party’s state president, Kummanam Rajasekharan, was in the office at the time.
Calling the attack on the party office a “high-level conspiracy by the CPI(M)”, BJP’s state general secretary M T Ramesh said, “The CPI(M)’s Kannur lobby wants to bring the same level of violence to the state capital now.”
CPI(M)’s Balakrishnan alleged that the BJP and RSS are unleashing violence to divert public attention from the medical college bribery scandal involving party leaders, and to create disturbance to show the Left government in poor light.
DGP Loknath Behera said the situation is normal, and most of those involved in the violence have been taken into custody. “The others will also be booked soon, and action has been taken against police personnel who have not acted while on duty,” he said.