Celebrations were on at the Vayalar Neelimangalam temple in Alappuzha district on Wednesday night. At around 11pm, as loud music played and people thronged the area, a group of men went over a paddy field nearby. There, they attacked 18-year-old Anandu Ashokan, and murdered him in cold blood.
But why was Anandu attacked, and who were his attackers?
The police took 15 people into their custody following the incident, but of them, cases have been registered against only 10. Six of them have been arrested - and all of them, police say, are schoolmates of Anandu. All of them also belong to the RSS or BJP, the police said.
Cherthala Circle Inspector VP Mohanlal though says that the murder was ‘well planned’, but the attack was not politically motivated. The boy was attacked because of a ‘love triangle’, the officer told TNM.
“Last week, he had some clashes with some of his schoolmates. As far we know, he was in a relationship with a girl, who was liked by another boy. That was the reason for fight, and that may have led to his murder. We cannot confirm anything as of now,” the police officer said.
Six of those who have been arrested - Athul, Sangeeth, Arhul, Anandu, Harikrishnan and Midhun - are between the ages of 19 and 22. The police say that there are also three minors in their custody.
The CPI(M) however has alleged that Anandu - who was an RSS member - could have been murdered by the RSS as he distanced himself from the organisation recently.
The party’s Aroor area committee secretary PK Sabu told TNM that Anandu frequently visited the RSS office till one year ago.
“We don’t rule out a possibility of a political murder as all the suspects are RSS cadre and such an incident cannot take place without them informing the RSS office. And as far as we know, Anandu had put some effort into distancing himself from the organisation,” Sabu said.
“But political doesn’t mean a clash between two political parties, as Anandu had no connections with any other political party other than RSS,” he added.
Sabu also alleged that all the arrested men were local drug dealers.
CPI (M) and UDF have called for a hartal in Alappuzha district to demand justice of Anandu.