Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reacted strongly to the murder of a CPI(M) member in Kollam on Sunday, lashing out at the rival parties of RSS and Congress. The murder happened just ahead of the first phase of local body polls in the state, happening on Tuesday.
At least five CPI(M) workers were killed in the last 110 days and all the culprits will be brought to book, CM Pinarayi said at a function in Kannur. The deceased, Manilal, was fatally stabbed, allegedly by a BJP worker, police sources said.
Munroe Island resident Manilal was attacked on Sunday night by Ashokan (55), who was later arrested, police said.
The Chief Minister asked the RSS and the Congress to make it clear whether the killings were part of their joint decision.
"RSS workers murdered CPI(M) activist Manilal who was busy with election campaigning activities. At least five CPI(M) activists were killed in the last 110 days. There were news reports that the RSS and the United Democratic Front (UDF) led by Congress have forged an alliance in the state for the local body polls. They should make it clear whether these consecutive murders were part of their joint decision. The culprits will be brought to book," CM Pinarayi said in a Facebook post.
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 are yet to confirm whether it was a political murder. They said that Ashokan came in an auto rickshaw and attacked Manilal who was standing in front of the election office of the LDF.
The BJP is yet to react to the allegations of the CPI (M).
This is the fifth CPI(M) worker killed in the state since August 20.
In August, a CPI(M) worker, Siyad, from Kayamkulam was killed by motorcycle-borne assailants and a Congress municipal councillor was arrested in the case.
PU Sanoop, a branch secretary of the ruling CPI(M), was stabbed to death in October allegedly by a gang of rightwing outfits, according to sources.
Earlier, on August 30, two DYFI activists Midhilaj and Haq Mohammed were hacked to death, allegedly by Congress activists at Venjaramoodu in Thiruvananthapuram.
(With PTI input)