Earlier this week, an RSS activist was hacked to death in front of his wife in Kerala’s Palakkad district. The murder was allegedly carried out by the members of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the Islamist organisation Popular Front of India.
The incident took place at Elappully in Palakkad district at 9:30 in the morning. A Sanjith was on a bike with his wife when they were waylaid by car-borne assailants, who attacked and hacked him multiple times in front of his wife. The attackers had followed the couple in a car, hit their two-wheeler from behind and when they fell down, 4 assailants came out of the car and started hacking at Sanjith with complete abandon.
Sanjith was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. According to reports, Sanjith was stabbed more than 50 times by his assailants.
Who is S Sanjith?
Sanjith, who worked at a private firm, was an RSS mandal boudhik pramukh of his area and one of the prominent workers of the Sangh in Kerala’s Palakkad district. He is survived by a wife, a one-year-old daughter and a mother.
Following the tragic incident, the role of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in Sanjith’s murder is suspected. The police said an investigation has been launched to trace the accused who fled the scene after the incident.
Sanjith’s wife, Arshika, recently recounted the harrowing details of her husband’s murder. She said when they fell on the ground, one of the assailants dragged her and held her in such a way that she was forced to witness the brutality inflicted on her husband.
‘Assailants held me back in such a way so that I was forced to see my husband’s murder’: Sanjith’s wife
“I saw a white car parked nearby. I am not sure about its make or model. When we fell, one man dragged me and pushed me into a drain on the side of the road,” Arshika said. She further added that her husband was hacked to death on a busy street teeming with bystanders, including a school bus full of children and several other vehicles and two-wheelers nearby.
“They (the attackers) were not wearing masks. I can recognise them if I see them now.” The police said that the vehicle was a white Maruti car. Arshika is the primary eyewitness in the case.
Arshika also revealed that she sensed Sanjith was under some kind of danger, but was unaware of the nature of the threat. She also alleged that she suspected danger to Sanjith was something to do with the SDPI. Sanjith would never stay in public for long and always kept his wits about him, she said. Arshika said owing to the threat, Sanjith was staying at her place, away from his home. Two weeks back, ab SDPI worker was attacked at Elappully. Since then, Sanjith, listed as accused, had been staying away from his house.
Sanjith had survived past attempts at his life, allegedly by SDPI members
It is worth noting that this is not the first time that an attack was carried out against Sanjith. The RSS activist was among the prime targets of the SDPI, the political wing of the Islamist organisation PFI, and which had a history of violent conflicts with the Sangh. He had survived a few attempts at his life, allegedly by SDPI members.
Last year, Sanjith escaped a murder attempt planned against him by SDPI workers. Four people were arrested in the case, including Sabeer Ali and Anwar Sadiq, who were nabbed while they were trying to flee to Tamil Nadu after trying to kill Sanjith.
Following the gruesome murder of Sanjith, BJP had trained its guns against the SDPI, accusing it of being behind killing the RSS activist. “SDPI is killing political rivals without provocation. These criminals have the backing of ruling CPI(M) and their police. If the government cannot control the SDPI, BJP will be forced to marshal people for retaliation,” he said.
Political violence unleashed against RSS worker in Kerala an alarmingly common occurrence
For the last few years, political murders have become an alarmingly common occurrence in Kerala. Umpteen number of violent incidents have been reported from the state. In an overwhelming number of such incidents, the victims have been RSS/BJP supporters and workers while the accused were said to be belonging to the left-leaning and Islamist organisations.
Recently, another RSS worker named Biju, 35, was hacked to death at Chavakkad in Thrissur district. Police had ascribed the murder to personal enmity, but BJP had alleged that the two people arrested in the case were SDPI members.
Earlier in February 2021, R. Nandu alias Nandu Krishna, 22-year-old Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Shakha Mukhya Shikshak at Nagamkulangara in Wayalar village panchayat in Alappuzha was hacked to death allegedly by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) goons.