Kerala BJP on Sunday called for a statewide strike after one RSS functionary was stabbed to death in Sreekaryam near the state capital Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. The BJP alleged that workers are behind the murder which took place on Saturday night. The Police have started an investigation and reportedly taken three people into custody.
An RSS ‘karyavahak’ Rajesh succumbed to injuries at a hospital after sustaining several injuries to his limbs, including having his arm chopped off.
The death comes amid the political clash between the two parties in which a BJP state office was attacked and CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son’s house was attacked on 27 July - all in Thiruvananthapuram. Both sides went on an attacking spree on each other's party offices, resulting in major property damage.
Inspector General of Police Manoj Abraham said, though they suspect the incident as a part of the political violence, there was a long history of enmity between one of the accused and the victim. “We are also probing any angle of the political motive,” he added.
Normal life affected in various parts of Kerala with many passengers stranded in various railway stations. Police deployment has been stepped up considering the volatile situation. KSRTC bus services also remain off the roads.
Tension gripped the state capital since Thursday evening, with the defacing of a flag of Students Federation of India, students’ wing of CPI-M, and soon turned out to a full swing violence and houses of BJP and CPM workers were vandalised. Several people from both parties were arrested.
Meanwhile, the CPM has distanced itself from the incident. “CPM has no connection with the attack on the RSS activist at Edavacode,” party district secretary Aanavoor Nagappan said in a statement.
The Trivandrum Police declared Section 79 of the Kerala Police Act in Thiruvananthapuram to prevent demonstrations, protect marches and meetings till 30 July.
The clashes between the workers belonging to the two political outfits have erupted regularly in the past years, claiming an almost equal number of people from both sides.