CPI(M) under attack over Youth Congress leader’s murder in Kannur

Congress and opposition parties accused CPI(M) for the attack although the ruling party distanced itself from the murder.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2018 12:14 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kannur,Murder,Youth Congress
Congress leaders hold a fast outside the Kannur collectorate, demanding action in the murder of youth Congress leader.(HT PHOTO)

The brutal murder of a youth Congress leader in north Kerala’s Kannur, which is chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s home district and also notorious for red-saffron revenge clashes, has put the ruling CPI(M) on the back foot.

M Shuhaib, youth Congress block secretary of Matanoor, was stabbed 37 times by unidentified assailants on Monday. He died the next morning.

Congress and opposition parties accused CPI(M) for the attack although the ruling party distanced itself from the murder.

Soon after the murder, a video of a CPI(M) rally, where activists threatened Shuhaib saying “his days are numbered”, went viral, putting the party in a tight spot.

The attack has given ammo to the RSS-BJP which have said that in “Communist heartland, political opponents are annihilated in a systemic way”.

Kannur is infamous for revengeful killings between activists of CPI(M) and RSS-BJP. More than 200 such murders have happened in the last 30 years.

What really shocked everybody, even party insiders is the killing of a leader of Congress, a party which usually keeps a distance from the violence in the district.

Interestingly, coalition partner CPI, which is nursing an uneasy relation with the CPI(M), has come out against political murders.

“It is time to put an end to bloodshed in north Kerala. Recurring murders are spoiling the image of the state,” CPI leader P Santhosh Kumar said.

Two days after the attack, police are still groping in the dark for the assailants.

This is the second political murder in the district in less than a month. An RSS worker was stabbed to death in Kannvam on January 20.

The 37 stabs on Shuhaib, like the 51 wounds inflicted on late Marxist renegade T P Chandrasekharan five years ago, showed the savagery of murder, and was the high point on TV debates and media discussions, causing further embarrassment to the party.

“At least 22 political murders took place in the state since the LDF government came to power. Party workers have taken law in their hands and police are forced to remain mute spectators. It is a sorry state,” said opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.

Though the CPI(M) has distanced itself from the murder, its opponents feel that it was a tactic to divert attention from other issues, including corruption charges against relatives of top leaders.

Two sons of party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and the son another LDF legislator Vijayan Pillai are facing cheating and financial irregularity charges in UAE.

The Congress is planning to take up the murder in a big way to embarrass the Kerala unit of the CPI(M), with a day-long fast in Kannur on Wednesday.

First Published: Feb 14, 2018 12:00 IST