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How the Communists have turned Kerala into killing fields

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Saswat Panigrahi
Political writer, policy observer.

After a brief lull, political murders have returned to Kerala. A RSS swayamsevak was hacked to death by suspected CPM supporters in Kerala’s capital city Thiruvananthapuram.

34-year-old RSS worker Rajesh Edavakode was brutally attacked by 15 sword-wielding assailants on last Saturday (29 July) night. The attackers chopped up his left hand and he suffered serious injuries in his face, hands and legs. Edavakode succumbed to his injuries in a private hospital later.

In Kerala, the list of political violence perpetrated by the communists is long. In last 13 months, 14 RSS workers have been killed by the communists. Out of these, 4 were Dalits and one woman member. A few of these killings that made to national news were:

  • 5 September, 2016: 25-year-old RSS worker Mavila Vineesh was hacked to death allegedly by CPM activists in Kannur.
  • 16 February, 2016: 27-year-old RSS worker PV Sujith was lynched in front of his aged parents at his house in Kannur allegedly by CPM workers. The assailants struck him with a pipe, broke his skull and bones and hacked him to death.
  • 12 October, 2016: 26 year old RSS worker Remith was hacked to death allegedly by CPM workers near a petrol pump when he was returning home. Remith met his fate 14 years after his father Uthaman – a RSS worker – was brutally killed allegedly by CPM workers.

When rebel Marxist leader was killed

The violence perpetrated by the communists is not limited to only the RSS and the BJP. TP Chandrasekharan, a rebel Marxist leader, was lynched by CPM workers on 4 May, 2012. Chandrasekharan, a former CPM leader, had floated a political outfit called Revolutionary Marxist Party and dared to question the CPM Czar. In January 2014, a Special Additional Sessions court convicted three CPM leaders, among 12, for murdering Chandrasekharan.

Why Marxist violence is on the rise against RSS-BJP?

The BJP was never a force in Kerala despite the strong presence of the RSS in the state. In the 2014 general election, the saffron party won 11 per cent vote share. BJP candidate O Rajagopal gave high profile Congress candidate Shashi Tharoor a run for his money in Thiruanthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, where the CPM candidate stood third.

In the 2015 local body polls, the party has improved its performance with its vote share rose to 16 per cent.

In the 2016 Assembly elections when UDF and LDF rotate power in the state, the BJP won 10.6 per cent of the popular votes and together with its ally Bharatiya Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), the party won around 15 per cent vote share. For the first time, the lotus bloomed in Kerala Assembly. BJP candidate O Rajgopal won Nemam Assembly constituency defeating his CPM rival.

At a time the BJP is eying unconquered territories, Kerala features prominently in the party’s scheme of things. At the same time, the RSS has expanded its footprints further in the state. It could be noted that there has been a huge exodus of cadre from the CPM to the BJP.

All these developments have angered the CPM and hence the party is perpetrating violence against the RSS and the BJP workers.

For CPM, violence is as “political instrument”

Not just Kerala, even West Bengal had witnessed political killings while being under communist rule for long. The Marxist party is believed to maintain a “scoreboard” of how many political rivals have been eliminated. “Bengal model” and “Kannur model” are something the party is proud of. Kannur often evokes the images of bloodshed as the highest number of Marxist violence took place in this north Kerala district.

AP Abdullakutty, a former CPM MP from Kannur had revealed that the then CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, in a party meeting on 5 March, 2008, had asked CPM leaders in Kerala to implement the CPM’ “Bengal model of political killing” in Kerala. Abdullakutty said he along with top CPM leaders of Kerala attended the meeting where Vijayan made these shocking comments. Abdullakutty had claimed:

Pinarayi Vijayan told us we should learn the art of political killing from Bengal CPM. They do it without shedding even a drop of blood. They kidnap people, bury their bodies in deep pit along with a sack of salt. The world never comes to know about the blood, photographs or the news about such killings.

I was shocked by Pinaray’s comments. My tongue had dried up…I left the party office in a disturbed state of mind. Later, when we were at Parliament, I enquired about this to West Bengal MP Anil Basu. Basu told me that what Pinarayi told was right. He said that Kerala line of killing is barbaric and in Bengal they don’t even shed a drop of blood and bury the enemies alive. He said that the outside world won’t even see a piece of bone.”

Postscript: Incidentally, Pinarayi Vijayan is now the Chief Minister who holds the crucial Home Ministry. It is the duty and the responsibility of the Chief Minister/ Home Minister to maintain the law and order.

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Saswat Panigrahi
Political writer, policy observer.

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