Violence in Kannur: Hot discussions in assembly

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Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 12: Violence in Kannur district once again led to heated exchanges in the Kerala assembly today with Opposition claiming a ''Constitutional crisis'' in the state and the ruling Front coming down heavily on certain 'adverse' remarks of the High Court.

The Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) staged a walkout in the assembly after Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan said the adverse remarks against his government by the High Court's single bench was ''violation of the Constitution and misuse of power.'' The government would file an appeal to expunge the adverse remarks, he added.

The Court yesterday observed that the only solution to end the violence in Kannur district seemed to be a timely intervention by the Centre, by deploying sufficient forces that would not yield to the political or plutocratic clout by those in powers and out of power.

Before trouping the members out of the House, Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy said ''the judgement reflected the sentiments of the people.'' ''There is a total breakdown in the law and order situation and if the government fails to take the judgement as a warning, it may lead to a serious situation,'' he warned.

''You cannot escape from the responsibility by blaming the courts. The Court pronounced the verdict after going through the case diary in a particular case in which there is a clear attempt to save the accused,'' he said, adding that the government was playing with fire in a very sensitive issue.

Intervening, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the observations made by the court were not based on facts. The court was hearing a case relating to the murder of a person in 2006 and it had nothing to do with the recent incidents in Kannur. It was not true that leaders of political parties used to escape unhurt in political violence. ''We have several examples when top leaders of our political party are brutally attacked,'' he added.

He said there was no breakdown of law and order situation in the state as alleged by the Opposition.

''We have an experience of the Central forces coming to the state in 1968 without getting permission from the state government. The then EMS Namboodiripad government directed them to remain in the barracks. Similar thing will happen if the Centre sent its forces to Kerala without obtaining its permission,'' he added.

Earlier, seeking leave of the House for an adjournment motion, Mr K C Venugopal of the Congress said the government could not save its face by simply blaming a judge who pronounced verdict based on the material in front of him.

The investigation relating to the murder of National Development Front activist Muhammed Fasal was entrusted with four agencies within a span of one year. Still, they could not come out with conclusive evidence against the accused who were CPI(M) activists, he added.


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