Shops and business establishments have downed shutters and vehicles are mostly off the roads in Guruvayur and Manaloor towns in Thrissur district following a hartal called by BJP to protest the killing of an RSS worker at Nenmeni. The BJP is also observing a protest throughout the state against the gory incident.
While the BJP has blamed CPM for the murder, the Marxist party has denied its role in the incident. The 23-year-old RSS worker, Anandan, was hacked to death allegedly by CPM workers on Sunday in broad daylight. The incident took place at 1.30 pm, when the BJP worker, who was on a bike, was knocked down when a gang rammed their car onto the two-wheeler. He was hacked to death after he fell from the bike.
Anandan, hailing from Brahmakulam, was an accused in a case relating to the murder of a CPM worker in 2013 and was currently on bail. The funeral is expected to be held this afternoon.
Kerala has been witnessing a surge in political killings for some time now. Kannur, the home district of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is considered as the cradle of the Communist movement in Kerala and is the epicentre of political violence in Kerala. The district alone reported as many as 301 incidents of political violence and 17 political murders in the first four months after LDF came to power in May 2016.
However, political violence was earlier confined to northern Kerala, especially Kannur, but seems to be spreading across the state. It was on July 19, 2017, that RSS worker Rajesh was killed by a group of 12 people, allegedly CPM workers, in Kallampally, about ten km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city. The police inquest found 83 injuries on his body.
This is the third murder of BJP/RSS workers in the district since the Pinarayi Vijayan government came to power in May last year, a BJP leader had alleged. In February 2017, Nirmal, a 20-year-old BJP worker was hacked to death during a temple festival on the outskirts of Thrissur city. It took place barely a month after three BJP activists, one in Kannur and two in Palakkad, were killed.
In October 2017, another BJP worker was attacked by six persons, allegedly by CPM activists, in Thrissur district. The BJP worker, Vishnu Prasad is the brother of Vijayasanker, the seventh accused in the murder case of CPM worker Shihabudeen, who was killed in 2015.
On the opposite CPM general secretary, Sitaram Yachury had stated that 13 of their workers had been killed in a year.
Though there were several attempts to bring political harmony between CPM and BJP none of them seems to have succeeded. The political mudslinging that is going on in the state seems to be something provoked by the leaders of both the parties.
The CPM and BJP leaders continue to say that political attacks should be dealt then and there. With the hack-happy nature of the local cadres in both parties standing a notch higher than their loyalty towards society or their own leaders, it seems no one can preach them restraint once an attack takes place against one of their men.