Debating India

STATE ELECTIONS 2006

CPM leader first Kerala poll victim

Monday 17 April 2006, by PI*Rajeev

CHAVAKKAD (KERALA), APRIL 16 : Suspected Muslim League workers hacked to death a prominent CPI(M) leader and chairman of the local municipality in the first political killing in the run-up to this years’ Assembly poll.

K P Valsalan, chairman of the Chavakkad Municipality, was ambushed by a bunch of armed men at Akalad near here at 6 pm today, as he was stepping out of his car to supervise arrangements for a campaign meeting of his party’s candidate scheduled there tomorrow. Valsalan, who is an area committee member of the CPI(M) and a senior leader of the CITU Fishworkers’ Union, is survived by wife Sudha.

K S Akbar, block president of the DYFI and chairman of the municipality’s public works standing committee, who was with Valsalan, was critically injured in the attack. Doctors have performed an emergency surgery on Akbar, whose condition is said to be precarious.

Police said there were indications that the killing was in connection with a local CPI(M)-Muslim League strife a few days ago, after poll posters and banners put up by the League were found to have been torn down.

An angry mob running into several hundreds have already surrounded the hospital near Guruvayoor, where Valsalan’s body has been kept for postmortem. Apprehending trouble, the administration has rushed almost the entire strength of armed police at its disposal to Chavakkad and Guruvayoor areas. More force is being brought in from neighbouring districts.

CPI(M) sources say this was a planned political killing. ??They are going to pay for this,’’ a senior leader said. The party has already declared a hartal in Chavakkad and Guruvayoor on Monday.

District administration sources said they were in touch with Thiruvananthapuram and would decide on clamping a curfew shortly.

See online : The Indian Express

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