More killings will only create more orphans: Father of murdered SDPI leader

KS Shan, Kerala secretary of SDPI, was killed allegedly by members of the BJP, and in a suspected retaliation, BJP leader Ranjith Srinivasan was murdered.
H Salim
H Salim
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Inside an auto rickshaw in Alappuzha sits H Salim, finding it hard to speak about his son who died a day ago – killed in what’s believed to be a political attack. KS Shan was 38 and state secretary of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). He was killed on his way home Saturday night by people allegedly belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruling India. Twelve hours later, as if in retaliation, BJP leader Ranjith Srinivasan, aged 40, was hacked to death in his home. Both deaths happened within 10 kilometers of each other, in Mannacherry and Vellakinar of Alappuzha.

“He was the pillar of our home, he looked after his family and mine when I turned old and unwell. He helped out the society and never hurt anyone. He’d never gone to beat up or kill any person but blood-thirsty people in the BJP very cruelly murdered my son,” says Salim to mediapersons, as his voice cracks and loud sobs escape the old man.

Even amid his pain, Salim says it will do no one any good if such killings continue. Whoever is killed in retaliation, it will only create more orphans like the children in his family, says the sobbing father. He has friends in all parties – the BJP and the CPI(M) included, and all religions and they have lived like brothers, Salim adds. “But this cruelty is beyond what we could bear,” he says before leaving.

After Shan’s postmortem at the Kalamassery Medical College, more than 40 wounds were found in his body. The one in his neck is believed to have caused his death. He was attacked when he was on his motorbike by a car. When Shan fell, assailants attacked him. A surgery could not save him.

When his body was brought home, Shan’s house was filled by people -- members of the SDPI and friends and family -- many women among them.

The postmortem of Ranjith, the BJP leader who was killed only hours after Shan, was performed at the Alappuzha Medical College. Leaders of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar came to the Medical College to pay respects. His body would be taken to the Alappuzha court where he was an advocate and later to his home in a ‘vilapa yathra’ (mourning procession). 

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