KOCHI: Think of the scenario of a political murder in the state and the colour which comes to the mind is red, thanks to its link with the CPM. The campaigns and endless discussions on the subject have painted the colour deeper. However, the hands of the Congressmen clad in spotless white khadi are also not so, if going by the records. In some districts like Thrissur - the home district of KPCC president V M Sudheeran, it depicts a worse picture than its rivals as the members of the same party have been engaged in attacks and counter attacks. Hence in less than 26 months, three men all in their 40s, were hacked to death, with the latest being Haneefa from Thiruvatra, near Chavakkad.
The Congress group rivalry in the district turned bloody on June 1, 2013, when Eacharthu Madhu, a Congress ‘mandalam’ vice-president was murdered in the presence of his wife in broad daylight. It was reported that the attack was in retaliation of the attack on Premji Kollannur by Madhu and his gang during the Youth Congress office-bearers election in April. The simmering vendetta claimed the life of another Congress leader in another 75 days. On August 16, Premji’s brother Lalji Kollannur, secretary of Ayyanthole Mandalam unit of the Congress and vice-president of the Karthyayani Temple committee was hacked to death.
The Thrissur Fast Track Court in last May, awarded double life term to six persons in the case. One person was awarded life term and the court ordered the convicts, all Congressmen, to pay a compensation of `3 lakh to the family members of the victim.
P Ramakrishnan, KPCC general secretary and former president of Kannur DCC , who is vocal against the murder politics was quick to term the war in Congress as a ‘shame’ and declined to see it as part of the groupism in the party. “There is nothing new in the groupism in Congress party. It is natural that disputes may lead to violence. But planning murder of political rivals and especially those in the party like this, cannot be agreed. This is not groupism but rowdyism,” he said.
According to Ramakrishnan, these incidents are a setback to the Congress when it was leading a strong campaign against the murder politics of the CPM. “It is a moral flaw for the party. Now, some one has been suspended. In fact not he, but those top leaders who feed and promote them must be expelled from the party. Would any brave leader carry a gang of goons around him?” he asked. Cherian Philip, a fellow traveller of the Left and also a former Congress leader, said there is double standard on the part of the police as well as the media in dealing with political murders involving Congress and the CPM. “Ummer, the brother of Haneefa, had pointed his fingers at a cabinet minister. But no progress has been made unlike the police did in the T P Chandrasekharan case,” he said.