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A local Youth Congress leader was reportedly hacked to death near Mattanur in Kannur district in Kerala on Monday, February 12, midnight. The Congress has said that CPI (M) was behind the murder and has now called for a dawn-to-dusk bandh in the district.

Shuhaib, 30, was the Youth Congress president of Keezhallor mandalam in Kannur district and the police have said that he was targeted by a four-member gang when he was at a roadside eatery with two of his friends. The accused then hurled crude bombs at the group and hacked Shuhaib, reported the Indian Express.

The 30-year-old had sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital, but he succumbed on the way. His friends Noushad, 26, and Riyas, 36, were admitted to a Kannur hospital. 

The Congress and the Left have been active players in Kerala politics and have also led coalition governments in the state before. The BJP and RSS have been trying to overcome this domination in time for the 2019 general elections.

The state has witnessed quite a few hacking incidents in the past and on January 20 four activists of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) were arrested by the police in Kannur district for allegedly killing ABVP activist Shyam Prasad. Prasad was reportedly thrashed with weapons by a group of three to four men. When a profusely bleeding Prasad tried to seek refuge in the houses, he was dragged out and hacked to death.

The BJP has often condemned these incidents in the past and October, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath lashed out at the Kerala government for "shielding killers."

He had termed these murders "politically motivated killings" and added: "As many as 120 BJP-RSS workers, 84 in Kannur alone, have been killed in the state since 2001, with 14 of them in the chief minister's home district."