Sabrimala Row: Widespread Violence in Kerala, Bombs Hurled at Politicians' Houses

Widespread violence was reported from Kannur, which has traditionally witnessed clashes between the CPI(M) and the BJP.

Thiruvananthapuram: Violence erupted across Kerala on Friday night as bombs were hurled at the house of Thalassery MLA and CPI(M) leader A.N. Shamseer among other places. Unidentified persons riding a bike hurled a bomb at Shamseer’s house at Madapeedikayil near Thalassery in Kannur district of northern Kerala at around 10:15 pm, police said.

“This was an RSS conspiracy to instigate violence in the state. They intend to create violence and destroy the peaceful atmosphere of the state,” Shamseer told media.

Also Read: As Protests Rock Kerala, Sri Lankan Becomes Third Woman To Enter Sabarimala

The attack occurred when the left leader was attending a peace meeting organised at Thalassery after widespread violence had hit the state following the hartal declared by right-wing groups over the entry of women into Sabarimala temple.

Bombs were also hurled at CPI(M) leader and former Kannur district secretary of CPI(M) P. Sasi’s house at Thalassery and a CPI(M) activist Vishak was attacked at Iritty in Kannur district.

In another development, prohibitory orders have been issued at Pandalam, Adoor and Kodumon police station areas in Pathanamthitta district for seven days.

Two shops and the house of a CPI(M) local leader at Adoor were also attacked with bombs on Friday. Seven persons were injured in these attacks. Pathanamthitta has witnessed widespread violence over the entry of women into the hill-top shrine of Sabarimala resulting in the death of a Sabarimala Karma Samiti member Chandran Unnithan at Pandalam.

According to the Indian Express, the ancestral home of BJP Rajya Sabha MP V. Muraleedharan in Thalassery was hit with crude bombs in what is being considered a retaliatory attack. Thalassery BJP district president Sumesh’s house was also bombed, while RSS leader Chandrasekharan’s house was targeted with country-made bombs.

Kerala State Road Transport Corporation managing director Tomin Thachankery said at least 99 buses were damaged during Thursday’s shutdown. Employees of KSRTC later staged a rally with the damaged buses.

Police on Thursday began a clampdown operation, named ‘Broken Window’, following the shutdown call by Sabarimala Karma Samithi and subsequent clashes. Prohibitory orders were imposed in three municipal towns — Palakkad and Nedumangad in south Kerala, and Mancheawaram in north Kerala.

33 people have been taken into preventive detention in connection with the violence in Kannur district last night. 76 cases have been registered in connection with attacks in Pathanamthitta district where 25 people have been remanded and 204 taken into preventive detention; 110 people have been arrested, reports from ANI suggest.

According to the Hindustan Times, the Travancore Devasom Board, which runs the hilltop shrine, has sought an explanation from Rajeevaru Kandarau, the tantri (head priest) for performing a purification ritual on Wednesday after the two women prayed at the temple.

Kerala has been marred with violence since the afternoon of January 2 after two women of menstruating age managed to enter Sabarimala temple. The state has been witnessing massive protests from right-wing organisations since the Pinarayi Vijayan-led state government decided to implement the September 28 order of the Supreme Court allowing women of all ages to enter the centuries-old temple.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to intensify agitation on Sabarimala. On January 15, the party will organise a march to the secretariat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address two rallies in Kerala, one in Kollam on January 15 and the other in Thrissur on January 24.