RSS worker’s killing: 7 arrested, Governor summons CM, DGP

Monday, Jul 31, 2017,9:18 IST By anju A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | A day after an RSS worker was killed in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Director General of Police Loknath Behera were today summoned by Governor P Sathasivam.

They apprised the governor of the steps taken in connection with the brutal killing even as the police said seven persons were arrested.

In another incident, an RSS worker was injured tonight when he was attacked by some unidentified persons at Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district, the police said.

The man, who received “minor injuries”, was taken to a hospital, they added.

Vijayan and Behera met the governor separately after they were summoned by the Raj Bhavan this morning to ascertain the action taken, following the recent violent incidents, including the killing of RSS worker Rajesh (34).

The state has been witnessing a cycle of violence involving the BJP-RSS and CPI(M) workers with the capital district rocked by incidents of attacks on houses of the rival partymen in the last few days.

The state BJP office was also vandalised on July 28.

Rajesh was hacked to death by a gang, allegedly led by a history-sheeter, here last night. His left arm was chopped off and there were several other injuries all over his body.

A Raj Bhavan statement said the governor sought information from the chief minister and the DGP in the wake of the recent incidents of violence in the state capital and the killing of the RSS functionary.

“Summoned Chief Minister and State Police Chief to know about action taken by State govt on law and order issues in Trivandrum (sic),” Sathasivam tweeted, adding that Vijayan assured him that the law-breakers would be sternly dealt with, irrespective of their political affiliation.

The police said seven persons, including prime accused Manikandan, the history-sheeter, had been arrested in connection with the killing of the RSS worker.

They added that the attack was due to a “personal enmity” between Manikandan and the victim, which had been going on for the last one-and-a-half years.

In a related development, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Vijayan, voiced concern over attacks on political workers in Kerala and said political violence was unacceptable in a democracy.

Meanwhile, the statewide dawn-to-dusk ‘hartal’ called by the BJP in protest against the killing of Rajesh evoked a near total response with state-run and private buses keeping off the roads and shops and business establishments remaining shut.

It by and large passed off peacefully, barring some minor incidents of stonepelting, destruction of flag masts and damage of vehicles.

A scooter, which was parked in front of the University College here, a bastion of the CPI(M)’s students’ outfit, the SFI, was found burnt shortly after the funeral procession of Rajesh passed through the city in the evening.

The chief minister met the governor at around 11.30 am, while the DGP met Sathasivam at 12.30 pm, the Raj Bhavan said.

It also said the chief minister would soon make a public appeal to maintain peace.

Vijayan also told the governor that he would be meeting Kerala BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan and the state RSS chief, the Raj Bhavan statement added.

The governor asked the DGP to take all possible measures to book the culprits and maintain peace in the state.

Sathasivam also spoke to Rajasekharan about the incident and the attack on the BJP office here.

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan claimed that the RSS worker’s killing was a fallout of a personal rivalry and his party had nothing to do with it.

He alleged that the BJP was trying to put the blame on the Left party as part of their “secret political agenda”.

Rajasekharan, on the other hand, alleged that the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala was trying to “eliminate” its political opponents and urged it to refrain from perpetrating violence.

Opposition Congress leaders observed a fast in Kozhikode today to protest against the “politics of violence” in Kerala.