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RSS man hacked to death: is Kannur heading for another cycle of violence?

Sanjeev Ramachandran | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:41 IST

Sujith, a 27-year-old RSS activist, was hacked to death in Pappinissery in Kerala's Kannur district on Monday. What is even more gruesome is the fact that he was killed in front of his parents.

The RSS, who are furious at the death of their activist, allege that the murderers belonged to the CPI(M). The CPI(M) has denied the charge.

Meanwhile, the RSS has called for a day-long hartal in Kannur district. RSS and BJP leaders alleged that the CPI(M) was deliberately trying to vitiate the atmosphere in the district.

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"The CPI(M) should know that they gain nothing out of killing someone. Hours after top CPI(M) leaders including Sitaram Yechury assemble in Thiruvananthapuram, Sujith gets killed in Kannur. What message does this give?" the new BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan tweeted.

On Tuesday, the police took 8 people into custody. According to sources, the men arrested are CPI(M) activists. The police, however, added that they haven't been able to find a political motive for the killing as yet. "All aspects are being looked into," the police says.

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who is currently in New Delhi, quickly clarified that the Kannur-Papinissery incident is not a political murder and that a local issue led to the killing.

MV Jayarajan, a senior party leader from Kannur, said that the incident was in retaliation for an episode of eve-teasing.

Kannur's bloody history

For the past 3 decades, political violence has become endemic in Kannur. There have been constant clashes between cadres of the RSS and the CPI(M). Political killings have also been extremely common. Most of the victims are either stabbed or hacked to death.

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The killings just happen and are forgotten soon after a day's hartal. This has been the drill for all these years. The parties involved nurse a sense of vengeance and wait for an opportunity to exact revenge.

The top leadership from both outfits have urged their cadres to desist from this cycle of violence but such pleas fall on deaf ears.

During his visit to Kerala a few months ago, RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat called for talks to put an end to the three-decade-long political rivalry between the two outfits. The CPI(M) leadership in the state also seems to be thinking on similar lines.

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Irrespective of whether CPI(M) cadres were actually behind Sujith's murder or not, the politics over his death has already begun. It is likely to vitiate the political atmosphere in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Kerala which are due in March-April.

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First published: 17 February 2016, 6:17 IST