P Karunakaran, the local MP, said that CPI-M's political rivals brutally thrashed Manoj Kumar due to which the 24-year-old died.
"Our party had organised a peaceful march in Kasargode to protest the arrest of party's Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan. After the march ended, one of our party leaders was attacked by IUML activists and Kumar went to save him. He was badly beaten up, leading to his death," Karunakaran said.
Yesterday Jayarajan was remanded in judicial custody for allegedly conspiring to murder an IUML worker Abdul Shukoor on Feb 20. However, his party accused the Congress-led UDF government of framing him in the case. To register a strong protest over this, CPI-M called for a state-wide shutdown.
Today members of the main opposition party did not allow even private vehicles to run on the roads. Most commercial establishments and educational institutions remained closed. A majority of government employees did not turn up for duty.
Central paramilitary forces conducted flag marches in Kannur district where several Congress and Muslim League offices reportedly came under attack.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy condemned the CPI-M for unleashing violence. "Everyone has the right to protest but no one has the right to infringe upon others' freedom. The police have been asked to register a case in each and every incident and proceed according to the law," he said.