In yet another act of political violence in Kerala, a CPI (M) office in Vishnumangalam in Kozhikode district was set on fire late on Thursday night.
Incidentally, the Vishnumangalam Branch Committee office is a short distance away from the Kallachi office of the RSS, which was attacked had faced an attack of its own just a few hours earlier.
According to the Nadapuram police, two persons were injured after bombs were hurled at the RSS office on Thursday night.
A member of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the CPI(M), was also attacked in Palakkad by unknown men. The attack on the 30-year-old, Ratheesh, occurred at 6 pm on Thursday.
Ratheesh, who is in hospital, named three men as his attackers. The suspects reportedly belong to the BJP.
Nadapuram DYSP Ismail told The News Minute that a CPI (M) office in Vishnumangalam near Nadapuram was set on fire by unknown persons late on Thursday night. “This office is a little away from the RSS office in Kallachi, that was attacked last night. It is after this that the CPI (M) office was set on fire. We suspect it to be a case of retaliatory attack.”
The Nadapuram police said that CPI (M) members had filed a complaint on Friday morning. However, the police are still in the process of verifying the facts of the case, and the degree of loss or damage caused by the fire is not yet known.
According to the CPI (M) District Committee Office, Kozhikode, the fire began at the Branch Committee Office of Vishnumangalam around 8 pm last night. At the time no persons were present in the office. However, the entire interior was burnt, including all the furniture inside.
The identity of the attackers in both the Kallachi and Vishnumangalam cases is not yet known. However, CPI (M) mouthpiece Deshabhimani alleged that the RSS was behind the attack on the CPI (M) office.
CPI(M) Kannur district secretary Mohanan told The News Minute that there was a mild clash between party cadres and BJP members on Thursday night.
"I have been told by local members that a branch office in Vishnumanagalam was set on fire last night. Though I am yet to get the details of the incident, we have already directed our members to hold talks with the BJP. We do not want to create tension in the district and resorting to violence is not healthy.”
In the past few months, a wave of frequent attacks and murders of political activists of the CPI (M) and of the BJP and RSS have taken place. Parallel to this a vicious war of allegations and counter-allegations has been waged between the two sides, as each blames the other for the frequent attacks.
Most recently, Kerala BJP leader K Surendran landed in a soup when he made a speech boasting about the BJP retaliating to every attack of the CPI (M). Following this, CPI (M) MLA Swaraj filed a complaint alleging that the BJP could be behind killings of 30 SFI and DYFI members during the last UDF regime.
(This story was originally published in The News Minute.)