Mixed response to BJP bandh call


Chennai: Several hundreds of BJP members including senior leaders like L. Ganesan, Dr Tamilisaisoundarar­aj­an and Vanathi Srini­vasan courted arrest during the statewide bandh called by the saffron party on Monday to protest the murder of party’s state general secretary V. Ramesh.
Barring a few stone pelting incidents in the city and districts, the bandh was peaceful. The bandh was a success in Kanyakumari, Naga­patt­inam, Coimbatore, Salem and Tirupur. It evoked partial response in Tiruchy and Pondy.  In Dindigul, BJP volunteers allegedly attacked shopkeepers urging them to down shutters.
Demanding an end to the serial murders of Sangh Parivar leaders, the party asked the police to act swiftly and nab the culprits. “Fundamental outfits should not be allowed to rear their heads… such organisations should not be allowed to gain a foothold. We want such violence to stop with Ramesh and it should not recur,” says L. Ganesan, national executive committee member.
Both Ganesan and party president Pon Radhakrishmam hailed chief minister J. Jayalalithaa for constituting a Special Investigation Division to investigate the murders of V. Ramesh and Hindu Munnani state secretary S. Vellaiappan.
Over 3,550 BJP members including 1,500 persons from 33 centres in the city were arrested when they staged a demonstration. They were later let off in the evening. The bandh, however, did not affect normal life and educational institutions and offices functioned as usual. Stone pelting incidents were reported at Triplicane and Velachery in the city.
BJP panel to probe murders
Determined to bring to a close the “serial” murders of the Sangh Parivar leaders in Tamil Nadu, the BJP high command has deputed a three-member delegation to inquire into the killings.
The high-level team comprising the party’s national spokespersons Prakash Javadekar and Nirmala Sitharaman and MP from Karnataka Anantha Kumar Hegde will visit the state for two days beginning July 25. Sources in the party told this correspondent that the team would first visit Salem where the saffron party’s state general secretary V. Ramesh was gruesomely murdered.
The manner of killing Ramesh, who has been the target of attack earlier too, on Friday last by inflicting 17 cut injuries on his body became the flashpoint making tempers to rise in the BJP. Tension mounted when the party began to suspect the hand of a fundamental outfit. Though the party did not overtly name the organisation, it however stated that it saw a pattern in the serial killings.
Earlier, the party had lost Dr Aravind Reddy, state medical wing secretary, Murugan, an activist and former councillor of Paramakudi, and Pugazhendhi, Nagap­attinam district president. State vice president H. Raja and state executive member M.R. Gandhi escaped bid on their lives.
“The delegation would ascertain the truth and submit its report to the high command for appropriate action, which may include urging the government to act,” a senior leader said.
Though the state government had already constituted a Special Inves­tigation Division to probe the murders, the BJP may stand to gain sympathy of voters during the  2014 Lok Sabha polls if its assumptions of invo­lvement of fundamental outfit turned out to be true.

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