UDF walkout of Kerala assembly over political murder issue

The murder of two workers belonging to CPI and BJP in Kannur district had its echo in the Kerala assembly.

Thiruvananthapuram: The murder of two workers belonging to CPI(M) and BJP in Kannur district had its echo in the Kerala assembly on Wednesday with Congress-led UDF Opposition members staging a walkout in protest against the government's alleged tepid response to the incident.

The two party workers had been hacked to death in what is suspected to be a fallout of the rivalry between the two parties in the politically volatile Kannur district on Tuesday.

The UDF tried to corner both the CPI-M, the lead partner in the ruling LDF, and BJP over the murder, saying they had failed to control the activities of their cadres and statements "encouraging violence" from certain leaders of these parties also cause concern.

However, replying to a notice for an adjournment motion on the alleged breakdown of law and order situation in the state after LDF came to power, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked the opposition not to generalise things by pointing out isolated incidents that took place in the state.

"There is no breakdown of law and order in the state. The government is committed to taking stern action against persons responsible for violence irrespective of political party consideration," he said, adding law will take its own course.

He said police have taken necessary steps to bring the culprits to book and the situation in the area was calm now. There was a "deliberate" attempt from certain quarters to create an impression that law and order have collapsed in the state, he said.

The Chief Minister denied the opposition charge that transfer and postings of police officers violating norms have adversely affected police force morale and defended the transfer of former DGP T P Senkumar from the post. The government changed him with an objective to make the force more effective, he said.

"His transfer had only brought positive results in handling cases by the force", the Chief Minister said.

Within two days after assuming office, the LDF government had appointed IPS Officer Loknath Behra as DGP in place of Senkumar. There were criticism from certain quarters that the transfer decision of the state's top police officer was taken in hasty manner.After the reply of Chief Minister, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan refused leave for debate that prompted UDF opposition to walkout of the House.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala while strongly condemning the twin murder in Kannur, alleged that ruling parties at the Centre and state was turning the state into a "political violence zone".

He also alleged that Chief Minister's reply on Kannur incident exposed his "indifferent" attitude on the issue and wanted urgent steps to put an end to the cycle of murders and bring peace in the area.

He also suggested holding an all-party meeting as part of peace process.

Not satisfied with the reply of Vijayan, Chennithala along with other opposition members trooped out of the House.

The lone BJP member O Rajagopal asked the government to take an initiative to bring peace in the area by calling a meeting of all political parties.

"This not a time to trade charges over the incident. Efforts would be taken to bring peace in the area as quick as possible", Rajagopal said before staging the walkout.  

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