In villages of Kannur, bomb manufacturing is almost a cottage industry. Leave alone political rivals, even the police dread to enter some of these areas. Steel, petrol and glass bombs are the specialties here. The police say there are at least two-dozen persons from both camps, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), who specialise in bomb making. Ask both the sides and they swear that it is only an act of survival.
Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan had admitted the other day that the warring parties had yet to allow the police to search their offices, some of them virtual arms depots.
Some years ago even a DGP had to face the fury of a killer gang. When he was waylaid he asked the accompanying policemen to fire and chase the troublemakers. The chasing cops had to retreat after the gang hurled steel bombs.
A couple of years back when an RSS activist died in an accident while making bombs, CPM workers distributed sweets to celebrate the ace explosive specialist’s death. At least 14 persons have died in similar fashion.
When it comes to revenge killings no sophistication or modernity holds sway. In this hysteria, often blood relation is overlooked. There are at least 15 RSS ‘martyrs’ whose fathers are still CPM sympathisers.
Ravaging killer squads innovate gory methods in their operation after every round. One of the latest victim’s severed head was recovered almost half a km away from his body, often shaming even the most dreaded terrorists outfits. Many maimed victims roam around the streets of Thalassery and Panoor, the epic centre of clashes, as a grim reminder of the politics of intolerance.
Sociologists say the recurring violence is partly influenced by the stirring legends of Vadakkan Pattu (the heroic tales of Kalari Payattu exponents) in which the plot is vendetta and clan rivalry.