THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an unprecedented move, Governor P Sathasivam summoned Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and DGP Loknath Behera to the Raj Bhavan on Sunday, to convey his concerns regarding the politically volatile situation prevailing in the capital city following the murder of an RSS functionary.
Rajesh, a 34-year-old RSS worker, was killed in Sreekaryam area of Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. The six-member gang of attackers chopped off Rajesh’s left hand. A special investigating team formed to investigate the murder arrested nine persons on Sunday.
A statement from the Raj Bhavan said the Governor summoned Pinarayi to “get first-hand information on the incident and action taken by the government.” Pinarayi, the statement read, told the Governor that main culprits have already been arrested. He also proposed to meet State BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan and State RSS chief and appeal to public to maintain peace.
A Governor summoning the Chief Minister is unusual and uncanny in the same breath. But the summons did come and it has clearly thrown the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government and the CPM into a tizzy, leaving Left leaders fuming at the ‘unnecessary and unwarranted’ step. Though there have been similar occasions in neighbouring States, it’s totally ‘unusual’ in Kerala, said a former Chief Secretary.
“The completely apolitical actions by some cadre have left the LDF red-faced. Now, even if the murder has no political link, such an impression can be manufactured. The focus has shifted from the medical college scam involving the BJP,” observed Left sources.
DGP Behera briefed Sathasivam on the arrests made on Sunday and the action taken to maintain law and order. Later, the Governor also spoke to BJP State president Kummanam Rajasekharan about the murder and attack on the BJP party office few of days ago.
Sathasivam assured Kummanam that measures were being taken by the State to ensure peace. Sathasivam also spoke to CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan over the phone and inquired about the stone pelting at his son’s residence. The Governor also apprised Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh of the law and order situation and measures taken by the State government to contain the violence.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s Office claimed in a Facebook post the Union Home Minister had expressed satisfaction over the arrest of the accused persons within hours of the murder of Rajesh. “ Rajnath Singh expressed satisfaction over Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s stand the government will take stringent action against violence.”
“I have expressed my concern over the law and order situation in Kerala. Political violence is unacceptable in a democracy,” the Home Minister tweeted.
Reacting to the brutal murder of RSS functionary Rajesh, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said political violence was unacceptable in a democracy.
The minister tweeted he had spoken to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan regarding the “recent incidents of political violence” in the state and “expressed his concern with the law and order situation.” He said he expected political violence in the state would be curbed and the perpetrators would be brought to justice expeditiously.
10 people held
The special investigating team (SIT), formed to investigate the murder, arrested 10 persons on Sunday in connection with the murder of Rajesh at Sreekariyam. The arrest was recorded on Sunday after hours of interrogation by Thiruvananthapuram Range IG Manoj Abraham. Among the arrested, six persons were directly involved in the crime while the other four were accused of hatching a conspiracy and harbouring the accused.
The arrested persons were Manikuttan, Gireesh, Aby, Ajith, Bijith and Pramod hailing from Karumbonam near Sreekariyam and Saju, Arun and Vipin. The identity of the tenth person was yet to be confirmed.
The accused were arrested from a rubber plantation at Pulippara near Kattakada in the early hours of Sunday. They will be produced before the Magistrate on Monday. Meanwhile, sporadic incidents of violence marked the funeral procession of slain RSS leader Rajesh. Palayalam was affected the most as a motorcycle allegedly belonging to a BJP worker was set ablaze by suspected SFI activists in front of the University College. BJP workers and SFI activists hurled stones at each other at Palayam.
The police caned the protesters and used water cannons to disperse them. Later, BJP workers hurled stones at the University Students’ Centre, University College and NGO Union state committee office at PMG Junction. A policeman was injured in stone-pelting. Earlier in the day, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had staged a dharna in Kozhikode against the politics of violence allegedly practiced by the BJP and the CPM parties in Kerala.
Violence at funeral procession
Sporadic incidents of violence marked the funeral procession of slain RSS leader Rajesh. Palayalam was affected the most as a motorcycle allegedly belonging to a BJP worker was set ablaze by suspected SFI activists