Praveen, an RSS campaigner, was seen hurling bombs at the police station towards a group of policemen on CCTV footage. In the video, Praveen can be seen taking aim at the station and throwing multiple bombs that he was carrying in a bag.
Kerala has been rocked by violent protests by BJP-RSS and right-wing outfits after two women of menstruating age offered prayers at the Ayyappa temple on January 2. Several houses and shops of rival leaders and workers were attacked, some were bombed, over the Sabarimala issue.
The Nedumangad police in Thiruvananthapuram identified the person who threw bombs at the Nedumangad Police Station on Thursday, 3 January, during the state-wide hartal called by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi.
Praveen, an RSS district campaigner, was seen hurling bombs at the police station towards a group of policemen on CCTV footage. In the video, Praveen can be seen taking aim at the station and throwing multiple bombs that he was carrying in a bag.
The hartal on Thursday had been called to protest against the entry of two women in their forties, Bindu and Kanakadurga, who had entered Sabarimala temple early on Wednesday morning, as well as to mark the death of Sabarimala Karma Samithi worker Chandran Unnithan, who died in a stone-pelting incident in Pandalam, which took place over the women’s temple entry issue.
Praveen is identified as an RSS worker from Nooranad in Alappuzha. Nedumangad police station officials told The News Minute that he had gone into hiding after the incident took place, and has not been arrested yet. The police are also looking to identify any individuals who might have accompanied or assisted Praveen.
A clash between CPI (M) and BJP workers took place near Nedumangad police station as well, while violent protests were held in Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Kollam, Kasargode, Kannur, Vadakara, Mavelikkara and Thrissur.
The Vyapari Vyavasaaya Ekopana Samithi (VVES), a trade union of shopkeepers and traders, had initially decided to flout the hartal and keep shops open for business in most locations as part of their vow to not observe hartals in 2019. They were soon forced to shut down following the attacks of BJP-RSS protesters at those locations.
Over 1,300 cases were registered by the Kerala police in hartal-related violence all over the state, and over 3,187 people have been arrested so far.
Kannur district, which has been tense since the Wednesday hartal called by the Sabarimala Action Council, backed by the BJP, over the entry of women into Sabarimala, stayed tense with attacks and counter-attacks by cadres of the CPI(M) and the RSS.
On Thursday night, a bomb was hurled at the house of a local CPI(M) leader in Thalasery. The following night, a local leader of the DYFI, the youth outfit of the CPI(M), was stabbed at Iritty in Kannur district, allegedly by members of the RSS-BJP on Friday night.
Late Friday night, the houses of BJP Rajya Sabha member V Muraleedharan, BJP Kannur district secretary N Haridas and district-level RSS leader C Chandrasekharan were attacked. Bombs were also hurled at the houses of CPI(M) legislator A N Shamseer and former district secretary P Sasi. A local office of the RSS was set on fire at Cheruthazham in Kannur early Saturday morning.
State CM Pinarayi Vijayan said that the "State will deal with the RSS violence sternly.”
“They are trying to destroy the peace and tranquillity of the state. We will take strong action against it. It's the RSS agenda to create fear in the minds of the people,” Vijayan told reporters, adding that it will not be allowed. He said people of the state have shown restraint.
"The RSS workers were attacking houses of MLAs, and other leaders. Their only aim and route is violence. The law and order system of the state will take care of it," he said.
Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged the state police had failed to maintain law and order.
"DGP himself has accepted this. Why has the government failed to stop the BJP from creating violence?" Chennithala asked.
“As violence continued to disrupt life in Kannur and other places, state police chief Loknath Behera sounded a state-wide alert and gave direction to take stern action against those responsible for attacks on houses of party leaders. According to Behara, 1286 cases have been registered till tonight and 3282 people arrested in connection with the violent incidents since the January 3 hartal called against the entry of two women into the hill temple. Of the arrested, 487 have been remanded and 2,795 granted bail,” Economic Times reported.