Shutdown in Kerala over Youth Congress activists’ murder

Thiruvananthapuram: The Youth Congress in Kerala on Monday started state-wide dawn to dusk shutdown in protest of the murder of two of its activists allegedly by CPI-M workers in Kasargode last night.

At a few places, the demonstrators pelted stones at state-owned buses and forcefully closed down shops. However, private vehicles were found plying smoothly.

Shops here in the capital district were, however, found functioning normally ahead of the famed Attukal Pongala festival to be held on Wednesday.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi earlier tweeted the party would not rest till the murderers were brought to justice.

The High Court was expected to take a suo motto cognizance against those who called the shutdown as it was against the court’s directive.

On January 7, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar had passed an interim order directing that if any group wished to call for a shutdown, it should give seven days notice.

President of Youth Congress Dean Kuriakose told the media that he would deal with the issue legally.

The state-wide shutdown has been called after the Congress alleged that it was the Communist Party of India-Marxist goons who have hacked Krupesh, 19, and Joshy, 24.

Three assailants had come on motorcycles and seriously injured the two, the Congress workers have told the police.

While Krupesh died at the Kasargode district hospital, Joshy died on the way to a hospital in Mangaluru, in neighbouring Karnataka.

Addressing the media in Kasargode earlier in the day, district police chief A. Sreenivas said that a special team has been formed to probe the crime.

There has been a sense of rising animosity between the youth wings of the two parties in Kasargode for some time now, reports said.

The Kasargode district CPI-M leadership though has gone on record stating it has no role in the murders.

Top Congress leaders including state’s Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, General Secretary K.C. Venugopal has all reached Kannur, where the two bodies were taken for autopsy.