An all-party meet chaired by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Kannur on Tuesday decided to take strict measures to maintain peace in the trouble-torn north district of Kannur which has been rocked by frequent political clashes between the ruling CPI(M) and the BJP.
The meeting took a decision to isolate forces that fan trouble in the district and give a free hand to police in Kannur, where seven political murders have taken place in eight months. Other than the CPI(M) and the BJP, other parties which attended the meeting included the CPI, Congress, Muslim League and the Janata Dal.
Leaders of both the CPI(M) and the BJP agreed to rein in their cadres and disown workers who disrupt peace. It was also decided to hold regular peace meetings in affected areas presided over by the local station house officer. A committee comprising three local leaders of prominent parties will be constituted for this.
The parties also decided that the committee would visit the victims’ families at regular intervals to reassure them and keep tabs on any possible retaliatory attacks. Last week, CPI(M) Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan had visited the house of BJP worker E Santhosh who was hacked to death in January allegedly by CPI(M) workers.
“Often small incidents trigger major violence in the area. Cadres of both will have to be made aware this to bring ever-lasting peace,” said CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakirshnan after the meeting.
The CM was forced to convene a meeting after the violence associated with Kannur began to be replicated in other parts of the state. Last week, a BJP delegation from the state had met union home minister Rajnath Singh and complained that the police force was ‘partisan and party workers were annihilated in a planned manner.”
The RSS also conducted a series of exhibitions called ‘Redtrocity’ in main cities to highlight violence in north Kerala. The CM who was in Delhi last month was forced to cut short his visit after RSS-BJP workers threatened to lay a siege to the Kerala House where he was staying.
The enmity between the CPI(M) and RSS-BJP dates back to more than three decades. Kannur is a Marxist stronghold and is home to all its tall leaders including late AK Gopalan, EK Nayanar, KPR Gopalan and the CM and party state secretary Kodidyeri Balakrishnan.
In the early 1960s, the RSS, backed by the Mangalore business lobby, began trying to establish its foothold into the Communist bastion which sparked off tension. The business lobby needed the RSS to check the influential Muslim traders of Malabar Koyas. The uneasy co-existence between the CPI(M) and the RSS exploded in 1968 when the Marxists killed as RSS activist, Vadikkal Ramakrishnan. Since then, it has been a gory battle between the two for supremacy in the district.
Three decades of violence has left the district economically backward. As a social fallout, in some of the villages affiliated either to the Marxists of the RSS, many women remain unmarried as outsiders dread to visit these areas.