After arresting three youth affiliated to the Democratic Youth Federation of India, the youth wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM] on 24 December, Kerala Police arrested two other persons in connection with the attack on the convoy of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa near Sr Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Now the accused include members of the youth wing of the Indian National Congress (INC).
The activists had waved black flags at the Karanataka chief minister and tried to stop his car in nearby Pazhayangadi. Elsewhere, they had demonstrated before Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan too.
Police said on Wednesday that three CPI (M) students belonged to the Federation of India (SFI) and two were from the Youth Congress. The cops said the five have been arrested and sent to judicial custody for 14 days.
The accused have been charged under various sections of the IPC, including Section 353, which deals with an assault (or criminal force used) for preventing a public servant from discharging his duty and unlawful assembly.
Police had on Tuesday detained 28 activists belonging to Student Federation of India (SFI), DYFI, Youth Congress and KSU in Pazhyangadi for stopping the Karnataka chief minister’s car, waving black flags and shouting slogans. Of these, five were arrested and taken on remand while the rest were released on bail.
The activists were protesting the “illegal” detention of Kerala journalists in Mangaluru last week, covering the death of two people in police firing during the agitation over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
The BJP has alleged that it was a “well-planned” attack by “communist goons”. The activists had surrounded the Karnataka chief minister’s car, shouted slogans and tried to stop the vehicle.
Some of them came in the way of vehicle and hit the windshield with sticks but were unable to break the glass.
Yediyurappa was on his way to the Madikavu Temple after visiting Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple at the time of the attack. On Monday too, Youth Congress workers had shown him black flags. That happened in Thiruvananthapuram.
The senior BJP leader, on a personal visit to temples and shrines in Kerala, described the attempt to block his car as a “conspiracy by vested interests” and a ‘heinous act’, saying it would be but wrong to blame all the people of Kerala for the incident.
The BJP had accused the CPM-led LDF government of failure to provide adequate protective cover to the Karnataka chief minister, saying the incident was “well-planned”.