Kerala: Local CPM leader held for murder of 2 Youth Congress workershttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-local-cpm-leader-held-for-murder-of-2-youth-congress-workers-5591982/

Kerala: Local CPM leader held for murder of 2 Youth Congress workers

A Peethambaran, 45, a local committee member of CPI(M) at Periya in Kasaragod district, was arrested in connection with the hacking of Youth Congress workers Sarath Lal, 24, and Kripesh, 19, both from Periya, on Sunday night.

A protest by the Youth Congress in New Delhi. (PTI)

Police on Tuesday arrested a local CPI(M) leader who allegedly conspired and mobilised a gang to murder two Youth Congress workers in Kasaragod, denting the stand of the ruling party that it had no role in the twin murders.

A Peethambaran, 45, a local committee member of CPI(M) at Periya in Kasaragod district, was arrested in connection with the hacking of Youth Congress workers Sarath Lal, 24, and Kripesh, 19, both from Periya, on Sunday night. The CPI(M) district committee sacked Peethambaran from the party.

Kasaragod district police superintendent A Sreenivas said five others were also taken into custody. “We have recorded the arrest of Peethambaran. He had grudge towards the murdered persons,” he said.

Earlier, Congress workers had allegedly manhandled Peethambaran over a tiff between students at a local college. The murdered Youth Congress workers were allegedly involved in the case related to the attack on Peethambaran. He had also allegedly threatened to annihilate the YC workers.

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Kerala hartal today: Bandh after murder of two Youth Congress workers in Kasaragod district
Both Kripesh and Sarath had been involved in an earlier attack on a CPM worker and their murders now are seen to be retaliatory. (Source: Twitter)

CPI(M) state secretary and politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Tuesday said the party has taken a strong stand against political violence. “The party decision is that its workers should not get involved in any sort of violent incidents. Those who cannot abide by that decision will not get any role in the party. We don’t agree with murder politics. The party will not protect those involved in the killings. CPI(M) has taken an unprecedented stand against political violence. CPI(M) is the party which has lost maximum number of workers due to violence,’’ he said in Kasaragod.

Balakrishnan’s statement is in contrast to what he had said in 2016 on how the party should react on political violence following the killing of a CPI(M) worker and a counter-killing of a BJP worker in Kannur within three hours in July that year. In a speech, Balakrishnan had then said, “Party workers in every region should ensure that those who come to attack us do not return in the manner they came. We should gain strength in every region for that. Every region should have the system to encounter attacks from enemies. Youths should get trained physically.’’

Asking cadres to instantly retaliate, Balakrishnan had then stated, “It should be ensured that wages for the work in the field are paid at its boundary.’’

Last February, when Youth Congress worker Shuhaib was murdered by a gang in Kannur, CPI(M) had denied role in the crime. Those arrested later for the killing happened to be local party leaders and workers.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala announced the decision to cancel the marriage reception of his son Dr Rohit. Chennithala said the money meant for the reception would be used for the marriage of the sister of Kripesh, one of the murdered YC workers. “It is the decision of the newly-wed,” he said.