Acts of political violence involving cadres of the Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPM) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Kerala have become commonplace in the last three decades. The history of such acts in the state dates back to the first half of the 20th Century, and has claimed scores of lives as a consequence over the years.
Between 2000 and 2016, Kannur district in Kerala reported 69 political murders, with RSS losing almost as many workers as CPM, according to The Hindustan Times. Each killing has been followed by a bandh called by the party to whom the latest victim belonged, a trend that was seen even on Sunday.
In 2016 alone, seven such instances were recorded. The killing of an RSS worker on Saturday suggests that the list of political murders in 2017 will not be short either.
Here are all instances of political murders since January 2016:
- 27-year-old Sujith, an RSS activist, was killed on 13 February 2016 days after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's call for talks to end three-decade-long political rivalry with CPM.
- CPM worker Cherikandath Raveendran, 55, was killed on 18 May 2016 in an attack allegedly by RSS members while he was on a victory rally of CPM workers in Kandyarmukku.
- On 11 July 2016, CPM worker Dhanraj, 52, was stabbed to death in Payyanur in front of his relatives. CPM blamed RSS workers for the cold-blooded murder.
- Later on the same day, auto-rickshaw driver CK Ramachandran was killed, allegedly by CPM workers, in a similar fashion. This led to several bandhs across Kerala and a long phase of political violence.
- 26-year-old RSS worker Bineesh was hacked to death by suspected CPM supporters on 4 September, 2016 in Kannur district, making it the fifth political murder in the district after the Left Front government came to power in Kerala three months earlier.
- Kuzhichalil Mohanan, 50, was killed on 10 October 2016 after five masked men armed with swords, allegedly belonging to the RSS, attacked him and almost severed his limbs. Mohanan was a member of the CPM’s local committee in Vengad panchayat.
- Two days later, BJP worker Ramith was reported dead in an attack, making it the seventh political murder in the district in 2016. Reportedly, Ramit’s father Uthaman was hacked to death by alleged CPM workers in 2002.
- BJP worker Ezhuthan Santhosh, 52, was hacked to death at Andallur on 18 January 2017. Alleging that the CPM was behind the murder, BJP called for dawn-to-dusk bandh in the district the next day.
- On 12 May 2017, RSS worker Biju was murdered by alleged CPM activists in Payyanur, prompting the BJP to demand the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Kannur district.
- Although not declared a political murder, police arrested 16 RSS workers in connection with the killing of a teenager called Ananthu Ashokan at Cherthala. He was killed by a gang near a temple in April 2017.
- On 29 July 2017, 34-year-old RSS worker Rajesh was murdered allegedly by a gang led by a history-sheeter in Kerala.
Note: The lists were compiled based on news reports, and Firstpost does not claim them to be exhaustive. The 2016 list was compiled based on an RTI reply from Kerala Police.
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Updated Date: Jul 31, 2017 14:40:16 IST