Tension gripped north Kerala’s Kannur district, notorious for RSS-CPM clashes, after the murder of an RSS activist on Monday night. The murder occurred in the wake of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s call for talks to end three-decade-long political rivalry between the two cadre-based outfits.
A group of assailants, alleged to be CPI(M) workers, stormed into 27-year-old Sujith’s house and hacked him to death before his parents. His parents also suffered minor injuries when they tried to prevent the attack.
The RSS has called a day-long shutdown in the district and the police have arrested eight CPI(M) supporters in connection with the murder. RSS-BJP leaders said the CPI(M) was trying to vitiate peaceful atmosphere of the district.
However, CPI(M) politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said it was not a political murder. “I heard some local issue led to the incident. Politics is not involved in this,” he said in Delhi.
The official Twitter handle of the BJP Kerala said, “A BJP karyakartha Sujith hacked to death in his house in Pappinasserry in Kannur district. His parents are also critically injured.” It also put out the photo of heavily-wounded body of Sujith.
The enmity between the two cadre-based parties in Kannur dates back at least three decades, claiming more than 250 lives. Kannur is to the CPI(M) in Kerala what Nagpur is to the RSS. Feudalism, poverty, a complex caste system and backwardness had helped it penetrate the area easily. Its legendary leaders like AK Gopalan, EK Nayanar and KPR Gopalan belonged to this area. When RSS started making inroads in the area, tension between the two began.
A teacher killed before his students, a son hacked to pieces before his parents and an aged dragged out of his house and murdered in cold-blood are not incidents new to this area. Both nurtured killings squads to take on opponents and are in a race to create martyrs and build colourful columns over their bodies. After every round both blame each other for triggering violence.