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Sunday, September 25, 2022

After FIR confirms CPM hand in Rajesh murder, is Pinarayi Vijayan’s position untenable?

Belying the claims of Kerala CPM State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan that the murder of RSS worker E Rajesh was due to ‘personal rivalry’, 12 people arrested in the case by police so far are either CPM party workers or supporters. The FIR also stated that it was a political killing triggered by the regional political rivalry.

RSS leader E Rajesh (34) was waylaid and brutally murdered by a group of CPI(M) workers when he was returning home after buying milk. He received more than 52 stab wounds and his left hand was severed and thrown into a nearby field.

Out of the twelve persons arrested — eight for their direct involvement and four others for conspiracy and harbouring the accused –  the first accused Manikuttan is a history-sheeter involved in a dozen criminal cases and four others are active members of the CPM’s youth wing, DYFI.

The ruling CPI(M) and RSS-BJP on Tuesday held another round of talks to end the violence which has peaked in the state after the CPM’s victory in the 2016 assembly elections.

CM in denial, as law & order crumbles

CM Pinari Vijayan, who also holds the home portfolio, has time and again blamed RSS and BJP for the post-election violence witnessed in Kerala over the last 14 months:

May 30, 2016 – Kerala Chief Minister blames RSS for post-election violence in State

Oct 19, 2016 – Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan attacks BJP, RSS for Kannur violence

Jan 23, 2017 – Kerala CM blames RSS for political violence in state

But with mounting evidence of CPM complicity in the murderous attacks on RSS/BJP activists and increasing criticism of Kerala police, Vijayan is feeling the heat. Even CPM veteran and ex-CM  V S Achuthanandan criticized Vijayan over the state police’s brutal handling of peaceful protesters and activists such as Jishnu Pranoy’s mother Mahija.

Kerala High Court too has rapped state police on multiple occasions, including for inability to control violence that occurred against educational institutions and staff during recent ‘student protests’, or for backing an accused in a sexual harassment case.

Pinarayi Vijayan

SFI terror

Students Federation of India (SFI), student wing of ruling CPM has unleashed a reign of terror on college campuses across the state ever since Vijayan took charge. Some recent incidents of SFI hooliganism:

  • Prof NL Beena, the Dalit principal of 142-year-old Maharaja’s College in the port city of Kochi, was targeted after she refused to bow down to the highly politicised staff and student union controlled by SFI. In January, SFI activists took her chair out of her office and burnt it at the entrance of the campus, as a warning. In May, police seized a cache of weapons from a hostel room of the college –  machetes and iron rods allegedly to attack those who question SFI’s hegemony. CM Pinarayi Vijayan claimed they were the ‘tools of construction workers kept temporarily in hostel rooms of students who were on vacation.’ The college principal Beena filed a police complaint that an SFI leader had threatened to “finish her off”.
  • Last year, police had arrested four SFI workers for allegedly ‘gifting’ the lady principal of another prestigious institution, the 128-year-old Victoria College, Palakkad, Dr TN Sarasu, also a Dalit, her ‘grave’ on her retirement as she refused to take orders from SFI and the Association of Kerala Government College Teachers (AKGCT), a CPI (M)-backed union.
  • In April, Dr T Vijayalakshmi, director-student services at the University of Kerala, submitted a petition before Governor P Sathasivam seeking the ouster of CPI (M) Syndicate member AA Rahim, who led a mob of SFI workers forcing her to release funds for the university festival. She approached the Governor after her complaints of “physical and mental harassment” to the chief minister, education minister and the police chief went in vain. Following her petition to the Governor, the police registered her complaint.  “There were some hundred people. They did not even allow me to go to the loo. They shouted at me, pricked me with their pens, pulled my hair and showered abuses,” Dr T Vijayalakshmi said describing her ordeal at the hands of the CPM mob. Even University of Kerala Vice-chancellor PK Radhakrishnan had to remain at home for two days citing life threat from the SFI.
  • In February, SFI vigilantes had severely assaulted a young man and abused three girl students, whom he visited on the University of Kerala campus in Thiruvananthapuram. The CPI (M) ally Communist Party of India (CPI) also accused the “big brother” of not allowing them to participate in elections here.
  • In April, SFI activists ransacked the principal’s office of the church-run Newman College in Thodupuzha, Idukki, as he refused to take back a student facing disciplinary action.
  • A protest march taken out by Left-wing student activists Vellappally Natesan College of Engineering at Kattanam turned violent. The SFI activists stormed the college compound and unleashed widespread devastation. They resorted to incessant stone throwing and smashed the glass panes and destroyed property inside classrooms while police stood by helplessly.

SFI clean sweeps elections in all the state-run universities and opponents say they do it through silencing dissenting voices and preventing others from even filing their nominations if they stand a chance to win. SFI and CPM is equally brutal on ex-cadre who become disillusioned and leave the party – when an SFI leader at Dhanuvachapuram dared to leave the party, SFI/CPM goons attacked him with rods.

Efficient Top Cop Removed

The brazen pre-dawn attack on the BJP state office in Thiruvananthapuram last Friday when only 1 policeman out of 5 tried to stop the attackers shows how police has been thoroughly politicized. Soon after the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) coalition came to power last May, Kerala Director General of Police T P Senkumar was removed from the top police post citing inaction in a case of brutal rape and murder of a law student, Jisha, in Kochi last year.

Senkumar was known in police circles for his tough and no-nonsense approach, particularly in tackling political violence in Kannur, the north Kerala district notorious for violence that claimed lives of many Hindu activists in the last one year.

The police officer moved the Supreme Court accusing the state’s LDF government of victimising him for carrying out impartial investigation in political killings in Kannur. In his plea, Senkumar said the CPI (M) was annoyed with him as he took prompt action in many cases related to political murders, including that of T P Chandrasekharan, Shukoor and Kadirur Manoj. In Manoj and Shukoor murder cases police made CPI(M) district secretary P Jayarajan an accused. Both the cases are now being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Senkumar said that during his tenure as the police chief, only one political murder took place in the trouble-torn Kannur, but nine killings took place in the district after he left.

In a historic decision this April, the Supreme Court reinstated Senkumar after a 11-month-long legal battle and castigated the Kerala Government for removing the DGP unfairly and arbitrarily. However, Senkumar was at the helm for only a further two months as he retired on 30 June.

In the midst of all this, Kerala, especially the district of Malappuram, continues to be a hub of Islamist radicals with multiple Hindu parents fighting court cases to recover their children who have been converted to Islam after brainwashing in a controversial Salafist theological centre ‘Sathya Sarani’ with links to radical organization PFI.

Not just RSS/BJP, other CPM opponents on hit list as well

While national media has been at great pains to portray the violence in Kerala as a ‘cycle of violence’ between RSS/BJP and CPM, the truth is that CPM cadre have also been attacking other political opponents like Congress and IUML in the state – although with less ferocity than the Hindu activists whom the communists regard as sub-human. These facts were also brought out by MP Meenakshi Lekhi while speaking in Lok Sabha. National leaders of Congress have been silent over the barbarity unleashed by CPM in Kerala in order to prop up the ‘secular’ alliance against Modi.

There is enough evidence to suggest that all these murders are being carried out with the tacit backing of highest echelons of the CPM party apparatus in the state.

In 2014, Congress MLA A.P. Abdullakutty, who was earlier with CPM, had revealed that in 2008 then CPM State Secretary & now Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had asked his party workers to follow the Bengal communist style of killings opponents – ‘bury their bodies in a deep pit along with a sack of salt. The world never comes to know about the blood, photographs or the news about such killings.

CPM’s state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has openly urged party workers to be ready to hit back at rivals.

Last year, an IUML worker was hacked to death after being acquitted by a trial court in the murder case of a CPM worker. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala (Congress) said the CPM had “executed the verdict of the party court”. “The issue is very serious. It was a barbaric act to kill a person who was acquitted by the court. Instead of the party court ordering to butcher acquitted persons, CPM should have taken legal steps,” Chennithala said.

He said the murder should be seen against the backdrop of Balakrishnan’s statement that the party would react to murders of its cadre promptly.

A day after Rajesh’s murder, Governor Justice Sathasivam had summoned CM Vijayan and the state police chief expressing serious concern over deteriorating law and order situation. Union home minister Rajnath Singh had also called the CM expressing anguish over recurring violence.

Clearly, the pressure is getting to Pinarayi Vijayan – he lost his cool at media before the “peace meeting” with RSS/BJP on Monday. “Get out, who invited you here,” he shouted at newsmen when he saw lens men taking the visuals of the meet.

State Governments in Bharat have been dismissed and President’s rule imposed for far less than the total breakdown of law & order that we are currently witnessing in Kerala under Pinarayi Vijayan. The ball is firmly in the court of the CPM leadership – Yechury, Karat and others; they can still salvage the situation by sacking Vijayan and appointing someone else in his place. An old hand like VS Achuthanandan might just be able to subdue the fanatics within CPM – he was the one who spoke out strongly against the 2012 murder of TP Chandrashekharan, a local leader who in 2009 had left the CPM to form a splinter communist party called Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP).

But if CPM national leadership doesn’t act, Governor Sathasivam must call in central forces to restore Kerala’s law & order. God’s own country cannot be left to cold-blooded communist fanatics anymore.

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