KOCHI: The life of a veteran disabled CPM party worker at Koothattukulam in the district has become hell as his own party members have turned villains allegedly destroying his petty shop, which is his sole livelihood.
Though 71-year-old V K Sivarajan approached the police after his shop was set ablaze twice (in 2019 and 2021) allegedly by some CPM workers, the cops still haven’t nabbed the accused. Whenever this former CPM branch secretary enquires about the status of the probe, the police give him the same old reply: “The investigation is under way and we will soon catch the culprits.”
It was in the early hours of September 29 last year that Sivarajan’s petty shop at Olippad near Koothattukulam was found gutted. Subsequently, he lodged a complaint and Koothattukulam police registered a case invoking charges of mischief by causing fire and damage.
“The shop is my only livelihood. My wife Nalini is a cancer patient. The lock was broken and the metal sheet-thatched shop set on fire after throwing petrol or other such fuel. I suffered a loss of about Rs 1.5 lakh. With the help of local residents, I repaired the shop and continued sales after a while,” said Sivarajan.
Though he had informed the police about the suspects, no action has been taken so far. “I learnt that the shop was set on fire in retaliation for bursting crackers in the area on the day the former CPM Koothatukulam area secretary was removed from the post,” he added. According to him, a section of party workers believe he is behind all anti-organisational activities in the area.
“I had served as the party’s Olippad branch secretary for 13 years. However, I was removed in an undemocratic manner and another person appointed. However, I have not quit the organisation and still continue to be a Communist,” he said. The shop was earlier made of wood and it was gutted in the fire in 2019. Sivarjan’s right hand was paralysed following an accident he met with in his childhood.
When Piravom MLA Anoop Jacob raised a query about the ongoing investigation in the case in the assembly, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said arrest and other action will be initiated after receiving the forensic examination results of material objects and fingerprints collected by the police. He also said more details could not be divulged as the probe was under way. A nine-member team headed by Koothattukulam SI is carrying out the inquiry.
“Currently, I cannot initiate legal action seeking justice as I am facing severe financial constraints. However, I am planning to approach the chief minister and DGP seeking the arrest of the culprits,” he said.