Will Deal With RSS Violence Sternly: Chief Minister On Sabarimala Row

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Violence broke out across Kerala on Wednesday when two women entered Sabarimala temple. (File)

Kannur:

Violence erupted in parts of Kerala, particularly Kannur district, today with several houses and shops of political leaders and workers being attacked over the Sabarimala temple issue.

Violence had broken out across Kerala on Wednesday when two women entered the temple.

Perambra in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Adoor in Pathanamthitta, where the Ayyappa shrine is located, also witnessed a series of similar attacks and vandalism on Friday night and in the early hours of today.

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Bombs were thrown at several places, including at the houses of CPI(M) lawmaker AN Shamseer in Madapeedikayil, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member V Muraleedharan at Vadiyil Peedikia and former Kannur district secretary of CPI(M) P Sasi at Thalassery in Kannur district past midnight, the police said.

No one was injured in the attacks.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Sangh Parivar (referring to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) is trying to create fear in people's minds.

The Opposition Congress hit out, asking why the Left government failed to stop the RSS from creating trouble.

Meanwhile, a peace meeting called by the Revenue Divisional Officer at Adoor in Pathanamthitta district was boycotted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BJP claimed that they decided to stay away as the police failed to arrest the accused in connection with the death of Chandran Unnithan, a 'Sabarimala Karma Samiti' member who, they alleged, was killed in stone-pelting on January 3.

Chief minister Vijayan said: "The state will deal with the RSS violence sternly. They are trying to destroy the peace and tranquility of the state. We will take strong action against it. It's the RSS agenda to create fear in the minds of the people."

He said people of the state have shown restraint. "The RSS workers were attacking houses of MLAs, and other leaders. Their only aim and route is violence. The law and order system of the state will take care of it."

Senior congress leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged the state police had failed to maintain law and order. "DGP himself has accepted this. Why has government failed to stop the BJP from creating violence?" Mr Chennithala asked.

Two women, 44-year-old Kanakadurga and 42-year-old Bindu, entered the Sabarimala shrine and offered prayers on Wednesday, breaking a centuries-old tradition. Following this, the priest, Kandaru Rajeevaru, closed the sanctum sanctorum to perform a "purification" ceremony.

In Delhi, BJP national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao hit out at the CPI(M) state leadership and said the violence around the hill shrine was unleashed by the LDF government, which, instead of dealing with it in a sensible way, wreaked havoc, resulting in devotees being hurt and even killed.

Meanwhile, Pathanamthitta district collector has extended prohibitory orders at Sabarimla till the 'Makaravilakku' festival on January 14.

State police chief Loknath Behera has sounded a state-wide alert and gave direction to take stern action against those responsible for attacks on houses of party leaders.

According to Mr Behara, 1,286 cases have been registered till now and 3,282 people were arrested in connection with the violent incidents since the January 3.

Of the arrested, 487 have been remanded and 2,795 granted bail.

A police release said patrolling and raids have been intensified across Kannur.

The police carried out a route march today morning in Thalassery.

The police said stone-pelting was reported against a march taken out by DYFI and BJP in Kannur district this evening, but no one was injured.

It has been decided that no marches will be allowed to be taken out tonight and tomorrow, according to the police.

Some people also set fire to an office of the RSS in Pariyaram area in the morning.

The CPI(M) and BJP-RSS leaderships blamed each other for the violent attacks.

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the RSS is trying to trigger riots in the state and sabotage peace talks. "The RSS-BJP combine is turning temples and educational institutions managed by them as armoury," he alleged, adding the ruling party will take the initiative to restore peace in violence-hit areas.

Countering the charges, V Muraleedharan said the incidents of violence were the tactics of the ruling CPI(M) to divert attention from the controversies and protests over the violation of the traditional customs at the Sabarimala temple.

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