Kasaragod: Suspecting that the killers of the two Youth Congress workers at Periya in Kerala's Kasaragod district fled to the neighbouring Karnataka, DGP of Kerala Loknath Behera sought the help of Karnataka police to track down the the killers.
The two Youth Congress workers Sharathlal (Joshi) and Kripesh were hacked to death allegedly by CPI(M) workers at Periya on Sunday.
The police have already detained two persons and seized two bikes in connection with the murders. They are being questioned by the cops.
According to the inquest report, Kripesh, one among the two victims, had suffered as many as 15 fatal injuries and even his brain was sliced. The most serious injury extended 23 cm from the left side of the forehead. He suffered as many as five hackings below the knee. It is presumed that the two Youth Congress workers were attacked with a sharp-edged weapon like a chopper.
Police claimed that parts of weapons used to kill the duo were recovered from the spot.
Describing the incident as "extremely unfortunate", Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that strong action would be taken against the accused.
DGP Loknath Behera has been instructed to bring all the accused to book as early as possible, the Chief Minister's office said in a statement.
A meeting of the investigation team was held at Bekal police station on Monday. The team is headed by crime detachment DySP Pradeep Kumar T. Kannur range IG Balram Kumar Upadhyaya is also reviewing the situation at Periya.
South zone Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), who is handling the additional charge of the north zone, will also visit Kasaragod as tension prevailed in the district with Youth Congress workers taking out protest rallies during the hartal. Huge police force has been deployed in areas near Periya. Kanhangad DySP A Sajeevan is in charge of law and order in the affected areas.
Meanwhile, police sources confirmed that both the youths were hacked multiple times. While Kripesh suffered injuries in the head, breaking his skull, Sharathlal suffered injuries on neck and both legs. Even though the petitioners made statements against the CPM, no accused was named by them, police said.
Opposition leader and senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala lashed out at the CPM, alleging that the CPM was trying to destroy the Congress using the party goons. He also alleged that the murder was a conspiracy hatched by the CPM as the Lok Sabha elections are near.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi too condemned the double murders in Kerala. "The brutal murder of two members of our Youth Congress family is shocking. The Congress party stands in solidarity with the families of these two young men & I send them my deepest condolences," Gandhi tweeted.
However, CPM district secretary M V Balakrishnan categorically denied any role of his party in the killings. "We strongly condemn this murder. We are against murderous politics. We don't have any role in this," he told mediapersons.
BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai alleged that party workers had to pay the price for the 'cooperation' between CPM and the Congress.
“Both the parties are allies in national as well as the state level and the party workers have to pay the price. They should realise this betrayal and react against it. KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran gave green signal for CPM-Congress cooperation and the partymen believed it. This gave them confidence to come out and work in the open even amid threat to life and finally got killed by the CPM,” Pillai said.
Pointing out Congress chief's tweet on the killings, Pillai said: “Rahul Gandhi's tweet exposes this betrayal to the party workers. He did not even give any indirect hint at the CPM.”
Life was affected during a statewide dawn-to-dusk hartal called past midnight by the Youth Congress leadership through social media, hours after its workers were hacked to death.
Roads and national highways were blocked in various places and state-owned buses were stoned on Monday.
Youth Congress activists blocked vehicles in various districts including Kozhikode, Kollam, Idukki and Ernakulam. KSRTC buses were pelted with stones by the protesters at several places.Shops and hotels also remained closed in many places.
The state capital Thiruvananthapuram was exempted from the protest in view of the famous temple festival, Attukal Pongala, on February 20.
The Kerala High Court on Monday flayed the Youth Congress for calling an impromptu hartal. The sudden call for hartal is in violation of the HC ruling that said no strike can be called in the state without a prior notice of at least seven days.