In Kerala, RSS, CPM draw battle lines over a possible arrest in Kannur

By KA Antony

The fear that Kannur might return to its gory past if CPM tries to resist the arrest of its district Secretary P Jayarajan accused in the murder of a district-level Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary, has gripped the people in Kerala. It was on Thursday that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), now probing the murder of Elanthottathil Manoj, made CPM's Jayarajan an accused in the case.

Jayarajan has been charged with conspiring to kill, protecting the perpetrators of the murder and destruction of evidence. Manoj, the deceased was convicted by a fast track court in Thalassery for the murder attempt on Jayarajan back in 1999.

The Kerala CPM has already blamed the CBI for dancing to the tunes of the BJP and the RSS, and is planning to resist the arrest of Jayarajan. The CPM leader, who was very active during the tour of the ‘Nava Kerala March” led by politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan in the district has suddenly got himself admitted to the AKG memorial co-operative hospital in Kannur, anticipating his arrest.

The CPM on Friday organised rallies and street corner meetings throughout the district to protest the CBI move to arrest Jayarajan. Meanwhile, there are reports that the party cadres would resist if the CBI tries to arrest Jayarajan from the hospital. At the same time CPM top leaders like Pinarayi Vijayan and Kodiyeri Balkrishnan are learn to have cautioned the cadres not to indulge in violence as it would adversely affect the party in the assembly elections.

In Kerala, RSS, CPM draw battle lines over a possible arrest in Kannur

P Jayarajan. Image courtesy: Youtube screengrab

A senior CPM leader on conditions of anonymity told Firstpost that the party is afraid that any rash move from its side would turn the people against it and foil its chances of winning the upcoming elections." We have cautioned the rank and file that their protest should not go beyond limits," he said.

In spite of this, the people of Kannur are worried about the recent political developments. "If somebody resorts to violence, it will only make things worse," said K.Premachandran, a bank employee from Thalassery.

What worries the peace-loving people most is that the offer of a dialogue by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, which Pinarayi Vijayan had readily accepted, may not take place as the situation has suddenly changed.

“The case against Jayarajan is part of a political conspiracy which was hatched while RSS chief Mohan Baghwat was in Kerala. The CBI is just obeying the orders given by RSS bosses,” said CPM politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan. Veteran CPM leader VS Achuthanandan echoed the same views. "It is crystal clear that the move to arrest Jayarajan is politically motivated. It is part of a conspiracy between the BJP -RSS top brass and the Oommen Chandy government in Kerala," he said. The CPM has blamed the RSS and the Congress government in Kerala for making Jayarajan an accused in the murder case. The party's state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan wanted to know why the CBI, which had told the court two days earlier that the agency had no proof to make Jayarajan one of accused in the case made a U-turn now. “It is quite evident that the CBI is acting according to the screenplay by the RSS and the BJP,” he said.

BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said his party had no role in registering case against Jayarajan. " We have not influenced the CBI. But if the CBI finds him guilty, he should be punished," he said.

"Let the CPM fight the case legally and politically," chief minister Oommen Chandy said, taking a dig at the CPM stand.

Though political vendetta is the main reason behind the unabated violence, studies on the political killings in the district also reveal that those indulging in violence and killing belong to the OBC Thiya caste. The Thiyas consider ancient fighters like Thacholi Othenan, Payyampalli Chandu, Aromal Chekavar and Unniyarcha as their heroes. This apart, while the RSS run 'sakas' where martial arts are taught, the reds have their own 'kalaris' for the cadres to learn martial arts. The most volatile places in Kannur are Thalassery, Panoor and Koothuparamaba. Both the RSS and the CPM have their own stronghold in these areas known as party villages.

However, political killings are not limited to these areas alone. Once the killings begin, they often spread to other regions both in and outside the district.

A study conducted by Sasindran, a college teacher on the political killings in Kerala, especially in Kannur says that it all began with the CPM attempting to stop the RSS from opening 'sakas' in the areas known as red citadels. "The killing of Vadikkal Ramkrishnan is the best example of this. The legacy of previous political hostilities between the communists and the socialists in these areas assumed a more violent form as the CPM and BJP-RSS started treating their areas of influence as their party villages," said the study.

One of the most brutal murders that Kannur had witnessed was that of Bharatiya Jana Yuva Morcha leader K T Jayakrishan who was hacked to death in front of his students inside a class room at East Mokeri near Panoor in 1999. This was an immediate retaliation to the murder attempt on P Jayarajan, Kannur unit manager of the CPM organ' Deshabhimani'. There was a lull for several years, but the violence began again with the murder of Manoj on 1 September, 2014.

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Updated Date: Jan 22, 2016 22:52:55 IST

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