Youth League worker killed in post-poll clash in Kerala

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(Eds: Adds more details, quotes) Kannur(Ker), Apr 7 (PTI) A 22-year-old Youth League activist, who was seriously injured in a post-poll clash allegedly between workers of the CPI(M) and the IUML in this district, died on Wednesday, even as political violence erupted in many parts of Kerala after the culmination of crucial assembly election.

The deceased identified as Mansur, a native of Chokli here, had suffered critical injuries to his leg and was admitted to a private hospital in Kozhikode, where he was declared dead by the doctors, police said.

An alleged CPI(M) activist was taken into custody by the police soon after the incident, sources said.

The Youth league is the youth wing of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a key ally of the opposition Congress- led United Democratic Front (UDF).

According to local witnesses, the shocking incident happened when a clash broke out in Paral area in Koothuparamba constituency over allegations of bogus voting by around 8 pm on Tuesday.

A group of people waylaid Manusur and his brother Muhsin, a UDF poll agent, near their home and hurled bombs at them before attacking the youth with sharp weapons, they said.

Muhsin, who also sustained serious injuries, was rushed to the private hospital in Kozhikode.

Some of their family members including women, who were injured in the melee were admitted to a hospital at Thalassery.

'They attacked me after asking and confirming my name. My brother was injured when he tried to stop them from attacking me,' Muhsin told a television channel from the hospital on Wednesday.

Abdullah, their father, also said his sons were attacked by the assailants in front of his eyes.

Though the attackers had targeted Muhsin, the younger son was killed when he tried to stop their bid against his brother, he added.

While IUML alleged that the ruling CPI(M) was behind the killing of Mansur, the Left party dismissed the charge and took a stand that it was not a political murder.

However, putting the ruling party in a fix, police on Wednesday said it was suspected to be a political murder and said more than 10 people might be involved in the incident.

Kannur district police chief R Ilango, who visited the crime scene, said investigation is going on and the prime focus is to nab all the accused at the earliest.

'We suspect it to be a political murder. The investigation is going on and so we cannot come to a final conclusion at this stage. We are probing the conspiracy angle also,' he told reporters here.

The officer also said a special investigation team would be constituted to probe the case.

Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala and senior IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty lashed out at CPI(M) over the crime.

'CPI(M) is unleashing violence across the state out of fear of failure in the assembly polls. The UDF workers are facing threat in many places.

The Youth League activist' murder is condemnable. The Left party should be ready to end violence,' he said at Haripad.

Terming Mansur's murder as a 'pre-planned' one, Kunhalikutty said there were reports that one of the attackers had put a social media post hours before the murder that the IUML would remember this day forever, giving indications to the henious act.

However, CPI(M) acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan denied that it was a political murder.

Meanwhile, as a mark of protest, the Congress-led UDF opposition is observing a hartal at Koothuparamba on Wednesday.

Koothuparamba assembly constituency in the northern Kerala district of Kannur witnessed a fierce contest between K P Mohanan of the Lok Janatantrik Dal, a partner of the ruling CPI(M) led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and Pottankandy Abdullah of the IUML.

Meanwhile, several incidents of violence between the activists of various political parties were reported across the state since the culmination of polling on Tuesday.

Clashes between Congress and CPI(M) activists were reported at Haripad and Kayamkulam.

Yova Morcha district vice president, Sreejith Parakkalayi was hacked by an unidentified gang at Kanhangadu in Kasaragod district last night.

He was admitted to a hospital in Mangalure with injuries and the BJP alleged that CPI(M) was behind the incident.

At Kayamkulam, a youth congress activist and booth agent in Tuesday's election, Soman, was hacked allegedly by CPI(M) workers.

A BJP leader's house was attacked at Kollam last night and the saffron party suspected the involvement of the Marxist party behind the act. PTI LGK ROH ROH