When 30-year-old Jisha was sexually assaulted and brutally murdered at her home in Perumbavoor on April 28, it was not long before the case attained more significance than any other crime story.
What led to the state-wide agitation over the delay in bringing her killer to book was not merely the uproar on social media, but also the fact that this crime had a context that had immense possibility for it to take a political turn. And so it did.
Political parties and the candidates contesting the assembly elections held on May 16, were trying tooth and nail to woo the voters. For the LDF, which was counting on the UDF governmentâs alleged corruption, Jishaâs case turned out to be one more weapon to attack the UDF with, and project that the state was in ruins under UDF rule.
On May 5, the CPI(M) began an indefinite strike in front of the DySP office in Perumbavoor and demanded that the government take immediate measures to nab the culprit. However, even after more than three weeks, the police investigation has not generated any notable leads pointing to the culprit.
The uproar over Jishaâs murder and the subsequent debates over womenâs safety in Kerala have been a boon for the left, which has come to power in the state. Media reported that after casting their votes on May 16, many women felt that Jishaâs case had influenced their vote among other factors.
The media and politicians alike were criticized for having used the case as a political tool, as the agitations died down with the election season.
Now that the LDF has come to power, the case perfectly illustrates the equations of an unproductive democracy â oppose when in the opposition, look the other way when in power.
Even as the LDF won with a whopping majority, the indefinite strike led by CPI(M) still continues. Less than 24 hours before the new LDF government will be sworn-in to power, what does this agitation mean for the left?
Now it is up to the new government to do exactly what the agitation has been demanding, a thorough probe in to the case and the solution to the larger problem of womenâs safety in Kerala.
P Rajeev, district secretary of CPI(M) said that the indefinite strike demanded a woman police officer to head the investigation team, and that it stays by the demand even now.
âThe strike will continue until this demand is met. The new government will soon come to power and we hope our demands would be met,â he said.
It remains to be seen whether the new LDF government would âset things rightâ or whether the opposition would once again begin another round of âprotestsâ over the delay in investigation.