Kerala: Kollam shuts down after BJP calls for strike against worker’s murder
Shops were shut and vehicles off the road in south Kerala’s Kollam district on Sunday in response to the BJP’s call for a strike to protest the death of a party worker in a clash with CPI(M) men.india Updated: Feb 20, 2017 00:12 IST
Shops were shut and vehicles off the road in south Kerala’s Kollam district on Sunday in response to the BJP’s call for a strike to protest the death of a party worker in a clash with CPI(M) men.
Ravindranth (58), a retired sub-inspector of police, succumbed to his wounds at Thiruvananthapuram medical college hospital on Saturday, two weeks after he was stabbed in Kadakkal during a row over a temple festival.
Five Communist Party of India (Marxits) workers arrested in connection with the attack would now be charged with murder, police said.
Ravindranth’s decision to join politics angered the Left party, his family said. The murder was a classic example of CPI(M)’s politics of intolerance, BJP leader VV Rajesh said.
Last week, a 20-year-old BJP worker was stabbed to death in Thrissur.
Clashes between the BJP and the CPI (Marxist) are on the rise as the Rashtriya Sawayamsewak Sangh, the ideological parent of the BJP, makes inroads in the southern state where politics has been dominated by the Left parties.
It is a vicious cycle of violence, which has left many people dead on both sides. Every time a life is lost, the two sides trade charges, setting off a new round of revenge killings.
Two weeks ago a BJP delegation met home minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi, saying police were “highly partisan and party workers were being annihilated in a planned manner”.
They complained that the CPI(M) was experimenting with the Kannur-model of attacks in other parts of the state.
Notorious for violence between the two sides, Kannur in north Kerala has reported eight murders since the LDF government came to power in May.
To calm tempers, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan was recently forced to call an all-party peace meet in Kannur.