Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 18 (IANS) The Kerala Police on Monday took two persons into custody in connection with the murders of two Youth Congress workers at Kasargode on Sunday night.
The activists – Krupesh, 19, and Joshy, 24 – were hacked to death by three assailants who came on motorcycles. While Krupesh breathed his last at the Kasargode district hospital, Joshy died en route to a medical facility in Mangaluru, Karnataka.
The authorities have also got in touch with the Karnataka Police chief over the case, Kerala Police officers said.
According to the First Information Report filed by the police, there was a 13 cm deep wound on Krupesh’s head, while Joshy’s neck was gashed.
Condemning the murders, Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “The brutal murder of two members of our Youth Congress family in Kasargode, Kerala, is shocking. The Congress party stands in solidarity with the families of these two young men and I send them my deepest condolences. We will not rest till the murderers are brought to justice.”
Top Congress leaders, including state unit chief Mullapally Ramachandran, leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and General Secretary K.C. Venugopal, have reached Kannur to pay their last respects to the deceased.
Ramachandran slammed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and accused him of having a “Stalinist mentality.”
“The present situation in Kerala is such that none is safe. I am calling Pinarayi Vijayan a coward. If not, he should speak up and ask his party workers to lay down their arms,” said Ramachandran.
Vijayan, however, avoided the media after he arrived at the airport here on Monday. He held a closed-door meeting with CPI-M state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan to discuss the situation.
Balakrishnan termed the two murders as an unfortunate incident. “If any party member is involved, he should be named as accused. Anyone with a sense of politics will never commit such an act with the Lok Sabha elections fast approaching,” he said.
Dismissing Balakrishnan’s views, former Defence Minister and senior Congress leader A.K. Antony told the media in Delhi that the CPI-M is engaging in such gruesome acts because the party fears a huge backlash in the Lok Sabha polls.
The police have been put on high alert in Kannur and Kasargode districts, where the atmosphere is still tense. The last rites of the deceased will be held later on Monday near Kasargode.