Around 8.30 pm on Sunday, Manilal, a local resort owner from Munroe Island in Kollam’s East Kallada area, was stabbed to death near a busy junction.

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news Crime Monday, December 07, 2020 - 09:32

The murder of a 52-year-old man in Kollam’s Munroe Island in Kerala has taken a political turn after the local CPI(M) leaders blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the ‘political murder’. At around 8.30 pm Sunday, Manilal, a man who used to run Mayukham Serviced Villa, a resort adjacent to his residence in Munroe Island in Kollam’s East Kallada area was stabbed to death near a busy junction. The accused has been identified as Asokan, who owns the building in which the resort was run. The accused stabbed Manilal during a heated argument between the two men, said reports. 

Although Manilal was rushed to the Cooperative Hospital, he succumbed to his injury. Following the murder, the local CPI(M) leaders alleged that there was an RSS conspiracy behind the murder of Manilal, an active CPI(M) member and termed it a political murder. However, BJP leaders from the area responded to the allegation, stating that the issue between the deceased and the accused, which led to the murder, was purely personal, and had nothing to do with local politics. 

According to the East Kallada police station, the statements from eyewitnesses do not state any political issue or affiliations of the deceased and the accused. “Both of them were resort owners who operated businesses nearby. They are neighbours and hail from Munroe Island. According to residents here, both of them had issues concerning their respective resorts, which led to the argument. We have not yet received any complaint indicating or stating that this is a political murder,” an officer from the East Kallada police station told TNM. 

CPI(M) state secretary in-charge A Vijayaraghavan said the killing was an attempt to disrupt peace ahead of polling for the first phase of the local body elections on Tuesday. "RSS criminals have murdered a CPI(M) activist Manilal at around 8.30 pm on Sunday night in front of the LDF election committee office. This murder is a concocted plan by the RSS to disrupt the peace in the locality hours before the local polls," Vijayaraghavan posted on Facebook.

CPI (M) claimed the RSS was deliberately trying to create an atmosphere of terror in a region with no history of violence. "We condemn the murder of comrade Manilal. We also urge all democratic forces to protest against this brutal murder," the party said in a statement.

However, police said they were investigating the matter and yet to confirm whether it was a political murder. Police said Ashokan came in an autorickshaw and attacked Manilal who was standing in front of the election office of the LDF.

This is the fourth CPI(M) worker killed in the state in the last four months. P U Sanoop, a branch secretary of ruling CPI(M), was stabbed to death in October allegedly by a gang of rightwingoutfits, according to sources. Earlier,on August 30, two DYFI activists were hacked to death, allegedly by Congress activists at Venjaramoodu in Thiruvananthapuram.

The allegations of local political rivalry behind the murder come a day before Kerala is set to begin the first phase of the local body polls on December 8, Tuesday. 

The East Kallada station has registered the First Information Report (FIR) under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code or IPC. Ashokan was also arrested by the police soon after the incident. 

Protesting against the murder of Manilal, the villages of Munroe Island, Kundara, Perayam and West Kallada have announced a strike, led by the CPI(M) on Monday. 

PTI inputs

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