Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition parties in Kerala have called for a shutdown strike in Kottayam district on Tuesday, following the daring murders of a newly married youth in Kottayam, and a 58-year-old man in Thrissur district.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and Bharatiya Janata Party state general secretary M.T. Ramesh have announced that their parties would hold a dawn-to-dusk strike in Kottayam district on Tuesday.

The strike is to protest the kidnap and murder of Kevin Joseph, 23 who was married just last week. He was abducted apparently by his wife Neenu Chacko’s brother and associates and the body was found in a river near Thenmala in the south of the state on Monday.

The strike is to protest against the dereliction of duty by police despite Neenu’s pleas on Sunday to investigate the abduction of her husband.

The fact that the murder, owing to alleged police failure, happened on the eve of the by-election in Chengannur is a setback for the Communist Party of India-Marxist candidate.

It is believed the murder is a case of honour killing, as Neenu’s family members were not agreeable to her marrying Joseph. Early reports said his eyes were gouged out and that he was assaulted and dragged along the ground.

Meanwhile, in Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district, a gang barged into the home of M. Vijayan, 58 and hacked him to death late on Sunday night.

The gang had come to settle scores with Vijayan’s son Vineeth. Finding that Vineeth was not at home, they hacked Vijayan to death. Vijayan’s wife Ambika and his mother Kausalya were injured in the attack by the three-member gang.

The state human rights commission has taken a suo motu case and ordered the state police chief to submit a report about the incident within three weeks.