After a brief lull following peace talks between the leaders of the CPM and BJP-RSS in August, violence and heightened tensions reared its head once again in Kerala.
On Sunday, in state capital Thiruvananthapuram, three separate incidents of violence involving workers of both parties were reported. In one incident, workers allegedly of the BJP, returning from a protest march, threw stones at the CPM district office, damaging some window panes and a statue.
In a separate incident, CPM workers reportedly pulled down a tent erected for Sabarimala pilgrims and damaged some BJP flags. In a third incident, workers of the DYFI, a Left-affiliated youth wing, were attacked allegedly by RSS workers.
The violence came on the backdrop of unruly scenes witnessed on Saturday during a meeting of councillors inside the municipal corporation office in Thiruvananthapuram. In clashes between LDF and BJP councillors, the mayor, VK Prasant, suffered serious injuries and was admitted to the medical college hospital. Three councillors were also injured. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the attack was ‘pre-planned by the RSS’.
The state capital has also been in the grip of tensions between workers of the CPM and SDPI, youth wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI). In CCTV visuals, a CPM worker travelling on a bike was attacked allegedly by SDPI workers. In faraway Kannur too, a CPM bastion, violence was reported on Sunday. Police said two RSS workers were admitted to the hospital in Azheekkal following minor clashes with the CPM workers.
Earlier this month, RSS activist Anandan (28) was hacked to death by a three-member gang at Nenmini in Guruvayur. The victim was an accused in the 2013 murder of a CPM worker. Among the three arrested by police the next day was Fayis, the brother of the CPM worker. Following Anandan’s murder, BJP president Amit Shah highlighted the failure of the CPM government to check political violence in the state during a rally. BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan had recently visited the grieving family of Anandan.