Thiruvananthapuram: An activist of CPI-M`s youth outfit DYFI died and violence reported from different parts of Kerala during the dawn-to-dusk hartal, called by the Left party on Thursday to protest the arrest of its senior leader P Jayarajan in a political murder case.
The protest crippled normal life with public modes of transport keeping off the roads and offices functioned with thin attendance and shops and businesses remained shut.
Manoj Kumar (24), unit president of DYFI at Cheekanam in Kasargode district in north Kerala, died in a hospital where he was admitted after a scuffle with opponents of the hartal.
The DYFI leaders alleged that Manoj died of serious injuries suffered while he was attacked by Muslim League workers and called for observing "black day" tomorrow.
However, IUML state general secretary K P A Majeed refuted the charge and said Manoj was taken to hospital after he collapsed while enforcing the shop-owners to down shutters.
Police said they were awaiting the post-mortem report to reach any conclusion about the cause of Manoj`s death.
Incidents of stoning vehicles and attacks on offices of various political parties were reported from different parts of the state, especially politically-volatile Kannur and Kasargode districts.
Jayarajan, party`s Kannur district secretary, was arrested and remanded in judicial custody yesterday in connection with the murder of IUML`s youth wing activist Abdul Shukkoor at Ariyil in February.
The situation has been tense in northern districts since yesterday where security was stepped up and two companies of Central Rapid Action Force brought in.
Taking a serious note of the situation, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said no leniency would be shown towards those indulging in violence and cases would be taken up and pursued legally in connection with each and every incident.
CPI-M state leadership alleged that the arrest of Jayarajan was a "political act" by the Congress-led UDF government and the party would resist such moves with people`s support.