Two political activists belonging to the CPI (M) and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) were killed in Payyannur in Kerala’s Kannur district within two hours of each other, raising tensions in the politically sensitive district.
At around 10pm, CV Dhanaraj, a 36-year-old CPI (M) party worker was hacked to death by a group of unidentified persons. The gang of attackers, which arrived on three motorcycles attacked Dhanaraj when he was about to enter house. Although Dhanaraj was immediately taken to a hospital in Kannur, he died on the way.
Just two hours later, a 46-year-old BJP worker, CK Ramachandran, was murdered at his home near Payyanur. Assailants reportedly first threw crude bombs near his house, creating a panic before hacking Ramachandran. He too died on the way to hospital. Ramachandran was affiliated with the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, a labour wing of the RSS.
Both CPI (M) and BJP have since been trading blame for the two attacks.
The police say that these two deaths could indicate a resumption of the wave of political killings that had begun in the wake of the Assembly elections.
Following the murders, police have heightened security over the entirety of Kannur district.