KASARGOD: The air in Kaliyot, where two Youth Congress leaders were hacked to death, is filled with muffled cries. Some residents are seething in helpless anger. None is calling for revenge. But everybody wants to know why the two youths were so brutally done to death. “They could have just warned the boys and let them off. Here, all parties live in harmony. How could they do it?” asked a neighbour, who was wailing.
Kripesh, 24, and Sarath Lal, 21, was hacked to death on Sunday night. The Congress and the residents accuse a local office-bearer of the CPM for the murders.Kripesh’s father Krishnan is a CPM worker and a native of Alakode in Palikara panchayat. He moved to Kaliyot after marrying Balamani two decades ago.
Balamani has lost her voice after crying relentlessly. Violent politics has snatched away her only son.
“I had told him to quit politics or else they would harm him. But he did not listen,” said Krishnan, a painter. Kripesh joined the Congress because “all his friends in Kaliyot were in that party,” he said.
“After schooling at Kaliyot, he joined the Government Polytechnic at Periya. There he was assaulted by the SFI for working for KSU,” said his father. “I told him to quit politics or education. I could not see him getting hurt. But he chose to quit education,” he said.
Kripesh joined his father as a painter but continued to work for the Congress.He wanted to join the Army and pull his family out of poverty, said Baburaj M K, a lawyer and resident of Kaliyot. He was a very good athlete, he said. Kripesh attended a recruitment rally but could not clear a written test. “He had joined a coaching centre and was determined to try again. But his life was cut short,” he said. Kripesh is survived by his parents, elder sister Priya, who is pregnant, and younger sister Krishnapriya, a Plus Two student.
‘A sought-after organiser’
Ten minutes from Kripesh’s hut is his friend Sarath Lal’s house. Women in every house on the way leading to Sarath Lal’s home were teary-eyed. By noon, his grieving mother Latha P was rushed to a hospital since she was frequently losing her consciousness. His father, Sathyanarayanan, was in a state of numbness. His only sister Amruta, who found the blood-soaked Sarath Lal by the roadside, is inconsolable.
KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran could not hold back his tears when he saw Amruta. Joshi, as Sarath Lal is known in Kaliyot, was a civil engineer and was looking for a job. Like Kripesh, he too was his parents’ only son.
After his schooling at Government HSS, Kaliyot, he joined an engineering college in Chennai. “He was a brilliant student with a creative bent,” said Baburaj, who is also a relative of the deceased.Sarath Lal dabbled in making short movies and playing drums for his Chenda troupe. “There aren’t many youths with his skills in the area. On top of it, he was much sought-after by the party for his organising skills,” he said.