Thiruvananthapuram: At least five CPM workers and four police personnel were injured when a procession of the Left party workers was attacked with country bombs in Kannur district in Kerala.
The injured CPM activists have been admitted in a hospital in Thalassery city in the district, about 400 km from the state capital.
Police say they suspect the role of supporters of the BJP or its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the incident. "The procession had around 200 people and there were country made bombs thrown at them apart from the stone pelting. This attack happened as the procession was passing through a BJP dominant area in Panoor and we suspect BJP supporters behind this attack. There have been no serious injuries," District Police Chief G Siva Vikram told NDTV.
Interestingly, the attack comes on a day when BJP president Amit Shah led a protest in Delhi over the "political killings" in Kerala. "Communists must be ashamed that most murders took place in Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's hometown," Amit Shah said.
On Tuesday, Mr Shah had launched the BJP's state-wide Jan Raksha Yatra (protect the people) - meant to highlight what the BJP calls the ruling CPM's "murder politics". But the yatra ran into controversy two days later as BJP supporters were heard threatening to "chop hands" of senior CPM leader in the state. "(P) Jayarajan, who is left with only one hand, must not be left with the other hand either," the BJP supporters can be heard chanting in the video put up by senior BJP state leader V Muraleedharan.
Mr Jayarajan, who is the District Secretary of CPM in Kannur, lost his right hand during an attack allegedly carried by BJP-RSS workers in 1999.
Kannur, a politically volatile district in Kerala, has a history of clashes involving CPI(M) and BJP-RSS workers. Since May 2016, a total of eight political murders have taken place in Kannur - 3 CPM activists and 5 BJP activists.
According to statistics available with state crime bureau, 45 CPM activists, 44 BJP activists, 4 Muslim League activists and 15 Congress activist have been killed since 1991 in the district.