March 2018
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Shuhaib murder: Party leaders begin fast
(Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 20, 2018): The Congress on Monday stepped up its protests against the ruling CPI(M) over the recent killing of its party functionary in Kannur, even as the ruling communist party in Kerala maintained that it has no connection with the incident.

State Youth Congress President Deen Kuriakose launched an indefinite 'Satyagraha' stir in front of the secretariat here seeking a thorough probe into the killing of Shuhaib, the Mattanur block Youth Congress secretary, in Kannur on February 13.

Leader of Opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala, who was present on the occasion, demanded an impartial inquiry into the killing and asked the state government to bring all the accused to book. Slamming the ruling CPI(M), Chennithala said both "red and saffron terror" have to be opposed with the same intensity. He alleged that the "silence" of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other CPI(M) leaders has led to the current situation.

In Kannur, Congress leader and former Lok Sabha MP K Sudhakaran started a 48-hour fast in front of the district collectorate demanding the arrest of all those behind the killing. Sudhakaran also sought the intervention of CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to bring the culprits to justice. In a letter to Yechury, he alleged that Vijayan, as the chief minister of the state, had "failed" to perform constitutional duties.

"Vijayan is functioning as a party secretary even after becoming the CM," Sudhakaran said.

Reacting to it, CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the party has no connection with the killing of the Youth Congress leader. In a face book post, Balakrishnan said that his party would take stern action against any worker found behind the crime.

Meanwhile, Kerala DGP Loknath Behra said a Special Investigation Team led by IG Mahipal Yadav would investigate the murder of Shuhaib. Two persons, said to be CPI(M) workers, were arrested after they surrendered before the police yesterday in connection with the case.

Shuhaib was attacked by assailants when he was at a tea shop in Mattanur with two other party members.

In a related development, the state government, in an effort to end the alleged political killings, has called a peace meeting at Kannur on February 21. State Minister for Law AK Balan would attend the meet, a release from Chief Minister's Office said here.(PTI)

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