The crime branch wing of Kerala police on Thursday apprehended a local Youth Congress leader suspected of being behind the attack on AKG Centre, the state headquarters of the ruling CPI(M), a move which the Congress claimed was aimed at derailing the ongoing “Bharat Jodo Yatra”.
A judicial first class magistrate court here remanded the activist to 14 days custody later in the day.
A senior crime branch officer told PTI that Jithin was a local Youth Congress leader and a native of Kazhakootam near here and he had allegedly carried out the attack in retaliation to the vandalism of KPCC offices.
The officer said that the suspect was identified via scientific evidence, including CCTV visuals of the incident.
Reacting to the police claims, Congress leader Shafi Parambil told media in Kochi that the timing of the Youth Congress worker being taken into custody indicates that the action was targeted at the yatra.
“It is politically motivated. It is as per CPI(M) agenda to pin the crime on Congress,” he claimed.
Parambil also claimed that such police actions happen every time Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is set to arrive in Kerala or is here.
“Last time when he was about to come to Kerala, there was news that a district secretary of Congress had been arrested or was absconding in connection with the case. So this is not the first time such news is doing the rounds,” he claimed.
KPCC Chief Sudhakaran termed the police charges as ‘fabricated’ and said Jithin was innocent.
Warning the Left government, he said don’t think that the Congress would remain silent when the police charge false cases against its workers.
The police was yet to take any action against those who had attacked the KPCC office, he added.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan said that the investigation into the AKG center attack was going in the right direction and the nabbing of the accused in the case has exposed the opposition’s false propaganda.
There are more people behind this, he claimed.
Parambil on the other hand sought to know if there was “even an iota of proof linking or connecting Congress or Youth Congress to the case, would this government have waited so long for taking action?” He also alleged that police have been threatening several Congress leaders at district and block levels that they would be implicated in the case.
He also questioned as to what action has been taken in connection with the attacks on the KPCC office in the state capital and Gandhi’s office in Wayanad.
The probe was transferred to the Crime Branch after three weeks of the incident on June 30 when an unidentified person hurled an explosive substance towards the office compound of the AKG Centre.
The Marxist party had alleged that the Congress was behind the incident, which the latter denied.
A case was registered with the Cantonment police station on July 1 in this regard under Section 436 of the Indian Penal Code (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc.) and Section 3(a) of the Explosive Substances Act (causing explosion likely to endanger life or property).
Police had said the explosive substance was hurled at the AKG Centre, situated in the heart of the capital city, by a motorbike-borne man at around 11.30 pm on June 30.