Five people have been taken into custody and a search is on for four others in connection with the killing of an Indian Union Muslim League worker near here, police said on Friday.
Isahak, 38, was allegedly hacked to death at Tanur on Thursday by a group of unidentified assailants with suspected links to the ruling Left.
"We have taken some people into custody for questioning. We have also identified four others, but they are absconding.
Isahak had a year ago allegedly attacked a relative of one of these four suspects. We suspect that the killing was in retaliation for that," an investigating officer told PTI.
Malappuram SP U Abdul Karim told reporters that the culprits would be nabbed soon.
Police are maintaining tight vigil in the area.
Meanwhile, the IUML alleged that there was a CPI(M) conspiracy behind the attack.
"Former Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan came to the area a few days ago and held a meeting where some of the culprits also took part," a Youth League leader alleged.
Dismissing the allegations, the CPI(M) leadership said if any of the culprits have any links to the party, they would be expelled.
Police said Isahak's body was laid to rest after an autopsy.
The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), in which the IUML is a major ally, observed a hartal in the area in protest against the killing.
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