CPI-M denies role in murder of Kerala BJP activist Santhosh
Kannur/Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 19: A 52-year-old BJP worker was hacked to death near Kannur, two days after a senior national BJP leader warned the CPI-M of dire consequences if it did not stop political murders.
Santhosh, 52, who hails from Dharmadom near Kannur, was alone in his home when unidentified assailants hacked him to death late on Wednesday night.
Angry Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers called for a day-long shutdown in Kannur district on Thursday.
The shutdown came amid the ongoing 57th Kerala School Arts Festival in which more than 12,000 school children from across the state are taking part.
The state BJP leadership decided to exempt the festival from the day’s shutdown.
State CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan denied his party’s role in the murder.
“The CPI-M has nothing to do with what happened last night at Kannur. We have spoken to the state police chief to see that those behind the incident be brought before the law,” Balakrishnan told reporters here on Thursday.
But BJP state President Kummanam Rajasekheran said while the festival is going on in Kannur, CPI-M workers are engaged in a “festival” of murders.
“Two months after peace talks was held in Kannur, this is the fourth BJP activist who has been murdered. We are approaching the Union Home Secretary with the demand for posting of central forces in Kannur,” Rajasekheran added.
Vice-Chairman of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Kerala and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a statement issued here on Thursday said that the political violence unleashed against BJP workers in Kerala is unacceptable in a civilised democracy.
“The writing on the wall is clear. The end is nearing for out of date, violent Marxist philosophy and peoples’ support to the BJP-led NDA is growing.
“If the Government of Kerala does not identify and punish the culprits, I will request the Government of India to step in with CBI and identify each and every one of the conspirators behind the violence, including the highest ones,” said Chandrasekhar.
Kannur district in Kerala has always witnessed political murders where the BJP and the CPI-M have lost several of their cadres. The death of Santhosh is the eighth murder that has taken place after the CPI-M led Pinarayi Vijayan government took over in May, 2016.