A CPI (M) party worker had a narrow escape in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday morning, after two bike-borne assailants hacked him. The attackers were allegedly workers of the Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
42-year-old Sasi Kumar is a former local committee member in Kattakkada, and is a Deshabhimani newspaper agent. He was hacked by two bike-borne men at around 6.30 am on Sunday morning, while he was on his way to work on his bike.
CCTV visuals obtained from a nearby shop show the two attackers catching up with Sasi from behind. As they get close, the pillion rider pulls out a weapon, and hacks Sasi twice on the shoulder. He also kicks Sasi's bike, making him fall down to the road.
Abandoning his bike, Sasi then runs for his life, with the armed attacker chasing him. After Sasi manages to evade pursuit and escape, the armed attacker hacks at his bike before getting back onto his own motorbike and leaving the place.
The Kattakkada Sub-Inspector told TNM that Sasi has been admitted to the Neyyatinkara taluk hospital and that his condition is currently stable.
"Sasi has sustained injuries on his shoulder. We have registered a case of attempt to murder under section 307 (of the IPC)," the SI said.
In his statement to the police, Sasi alleged that his attackers were members of the SDPI.
Tensions have been simmering between CPI (M) and SDPI party workers over the last two days, after a rally in Chavara in Kollam district resulted in a clash on Friday evening. SDPI members had accused CPI (M) workers of trying to sabotage their rally, and clashed with them. Following this, SDPI members in Thiruvananthapuram had also taken out a march to the Secretariat at around 8.30pm on Friday, and reportedly tore down several CPI (M) banners. The police later used teargas to disperse them.
The Kattakkada police suspect that the attack on Sasi could be a continuation of the tension between the two groups.
"As of now, that's what it looks like, and Sasi has accused SDPI of attacking him. We are investigating the case, and no arrests have been made so far," the SI said.