Political violence rocks Assembly, opposition walks out

Political violence rocks Assembly, opposition walks out
Keral Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and COT Naseer.

The opposition staged a walk out in the Kerala Assembly on Tuesday in protest against what it termed the government's improper handling of the attack on C O T Naseer, a former CPM worker who had contested as an independent from the Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency.

“The CCTV visuals of the attack on Naseer clearly shows CPM and DYFI local leaders,” said Indian Union Muslim League MLA Parakkal Abdulla who moved the adjournment motion in the Assembly. “C O T Naseer had also said in his statement that CPM's Thalassery MLA A N Shamseer was behind the attack,” Abdulla added.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan did not refer to the CPM's role, especially the MLA's, in his reply. He did not contest the involvement of local CPM leaders either. The chief minister just said the police would act in a fair and efficient manner. “It is a fact that C O T Naseer was attacked. The police approach is to take strong action against whoever is behind the attack. In fact, the accused were identified and arrested by the police after applying scientific investigative techniques. There will not be any failure on the part of the police,” the chief minister assured the House. He also said the investigation team had not been changed.

Earlier, there was a charge that the police had not read out to C O T Naseer a statement he had made before the police, and had also not been given a copy of his statement. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday that Naseer's statement was recorded thrice, and all the three times it was read out to him and copies were also handed over.

P Jayarajan | COT Naseer

This was questioned by Congress leader K C Joseph during the adjournment motion. “What the chief minister said is not correct. The statement taken on June 2 in which Naseer had said that the attack was a conspiracy hatched by Thalassery MLA Shamseer was not read out to him. Naseer was also not given a copy,” Joseph said.

The chief minister said the information in his possession showed that the statement was read out to Naseer and a copy of the statement was also given to the victim. IUML leader Dr M K Muneer attempted to appeal to the chief minister's softer side. “C O T Naseer is a student of your wife,” he told the chief minister. He was not particularly moved.

Pinarayi Vijayan said the CPM harboured no anger or hostility towards C O T Naseer. “This is why P Jayarajan (who was the CPM candidate in Vadakara) had met him. CPM district secretary M V Jayarajan, too, had met Naseer in the hospital,” Vijayan said.

CCTV visuals of the attack on COT Naseer.

Abdulla had earlier expressed his amusement at the visits made by CPM leaders to the hospital. “Normally, CPM leaders refuse to visit injured dissidents,” Abdulla said. “But if the CPM leaders rushed to the hospital to visit Naseer it was only because the election was on and there was the realisation within the CPM that it could not survive yet another charge of political violence,” he added.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the visit was nothing but a CPM ploy to somehow give the impression that they were not behind the attack. Chennithala also asked why the police had not summoned the MLA for interrogation. “Instead of taking this up as a cognizable offence, the police are attempting to protect the culprits,” the opposition leader charged.

The chief minister seemed provoked by Abdulla's observation that opposition workers found places like Vadakara, Thalassery and Nadapuram extremely dangerous. “We go out not knowing when our limbs would be severed or our houses would be bombed,” he said.

Apparently livid, the chief minister wanted to know where such incidents had happened. “Thalassery, Nadapuram, Kuttyadi and Vadakara are peaceful areas. People live in a spirit of brotherhood in these areas. There was a time when people were killed in RSS attacks. Now, these places are models of exemplary law and order,” the chief minister said.

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