P Vinod, 36, who left Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) five years ago and joined the CPI-M, was returning to his home near Panoor after celebrating Vishu, police said.

On reaching the spot, police found his body battered. He was declared dead when he was taken to hospital.

With the CPI-M top brass in Visakhapatnam attending the 21st party Congress, the local leaders here have called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Tellichery area.

Over the years, Kannur district has witnessed frequent clashes between the activists of the BJP/RSS and the CPI-M.

The last such incident took place in September 2014 when a young RSS worker was attacked with bombs and later hacked down by CPI-M activists.

Reacting to Vinod's death, CPI-M leader E P Jayarajan said: "This fresh murder has taken place with the knowledge of the BJP/RSS leadership in Kannur."

Police are believed to have identified the killers and have begun a manhunt, officials said.

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