A statewide strike has been called in Kerala by the opposition BJP after the murder of its party worker in Kannur on Wednesday. The initial hours showed a total shutdown in financial nerve-centre Kochi and capital Thiruvananthapuram. The roads were deserted as buses and other public vehicles stayed off. State transport KSRTC buses were also not plying. There were also reports of a shop being set on fire in Kozhikode.
The 20-year-old was the son of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh leader Uthaman who was also a victim of political violence in 2002.
The police have registered a case against 10 people and identified the vehicle used in the crime.
Except for stray incidents, no major violence has been reported from the state.
Notorious for clashes between the RSS and Marxists, Kannur district has witnessed seven political murders this year. Two killings took place in CM’s assembly constituency Dharmadom.
“These are sponsored killings by Marxist cadres with the active patronage of the chief minister. There may be ideological differences but violence is a weapon for those who cannot engage in political debate,” party president Amit Shah tweeted condemning the murder.
Meanwhile, Kerala police commissioner Loknath Behera has urged BJP supporters to observe the bandh peacefully, and has warned them against indulging in any act of violence.
Remith’s murder followed the killing of local CPM leader K Mohanan, who was hacked to death by suspected RSS activists on Monday.