The police have intensified patrolling in the area
Thiruvananthapuram: At least six persons were injured and several houses damaged when Kerala Dalit Panther (KDP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activists clashed at Kunnumpara in Vattiyoorkavu police station limits late on Monday night.
A tense situation was prevailing in the area even on Tuesday evening. The KDP has called for a hartal in Kunnumpara-Thittamangalam areas to protest against the "RSS attack on Harijans." Shops and commercial establishments remained closed and normal life in the locality was thrown out of gear for the better part of the day.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress organised a joint protest meeting on Tuesday evening to condemn what local leaders of both political fronts described as "an act of violence against the Harijan community."
The violence started when persons suspected to be RSS activists waylaid five youth near a paddy field behind Kunnumpara Devi Temple. The youth had gone to fetch plastic furniture for the marriage of the daughter of a local pastor. The youth injured in the attack were identified as Arun, 14; Babu 35; Renjith, 30; Mohan, 48; and Baby, 30.
Soon after the incident, a group of KDP activists armed with swords and country-bombs waylaid Mohanan Nair at Thittamangalam. The police said the same group also damaged the houses of Sasidharan Nair, Usha Kumari, Jayakumar, Gopakumar, Mohanan and Biju. The windscreen of the van owned by Mr. Sasidharan Nair was damaged in the attack. The armed group created a panic situation in the area for half-an-hour by exploding country-bombs and brandishing swords.
A strong police force arrived in the area and arrested five persons in connection with the violence. They were identified as `Gundu Appan’ Biju, Santhosh, Suni, Ajayan and Reji. They were produced before the first class judicial magistrate on charges of attempt to murder, rioting and violation of the Arms and Explosives Acts. The accused were remanded in judicial custody for a period of 15 days.
Violent stand-offs between RSS and KDP activists have often disrupted public peace in Kunnumpara and Thittamangalam. On February 24, two persons were injured in a clash involving RSS and KDP activists. The police had arrested five RSS activists in connection with the attack.
The police have intensified patrolling in the area. Police pickets have been posted in sensitive pockets in Thittamangalam and Kunnumpara. The police also checked vehicles for weapons and explosives.