KASARGOD: Latha P, the young mother of slain Youth Congress worker Sarath Lal, is living out of the hospital now. She is frequently losing her consciousness, unable to come to terms with the loss of her only son, said her family. “She was in the hospital yesterday. Today too, we had to check her in,” said Baburaj M K, her cousin. Not far from Kalliyot, where Sarath and his friend Kripesh were brutally hacked to death, is the house of T V Devadas or Dasan as he is fondly remembered.
Eighteen years ago, Dasan, a headload worker and then just 25 years old, was hacked to death using an axe by CPM workers when he got down from a bus at Chalingal near Periya on returning from work. His mother, T V Lakshmi, 62, lost mental balance on hearing about the murder of her son. “She never recovered from the shock,” says her husband E M Kunhiraman, 72, who dots on her everyday.
‘Violence is CPM’s inheritance’
Lakshmi wears a blank look on her face. She never steps out of the house nor does she allow anyone else to enter the house. She does not recognise anybody. “When my two daughters come home, she chases them away with a machete. She thinks all her children died,” says Kunhiraman, a farmer. “Even my grandchildren don’t come any more,” he says.
Monday morning, when the news of the murders of the two Youth Congress workers was trickling in, Kunhiraman’s elderly neighbours had assembled in front of his courtyard. They were sitting in silence. They had lived this day before. Kunhiraman breaks the uneasy silence.
“How many more will they kill to quench their thirst,” he said. It was not a question, but his neighbours dispersed. No one had an answer. Dasan was an active member of the Youth Congress. Four CPM workers were convicted for the murder. Now, they were shifted to the Cheemeni open prison for their “good behaviour”, said the disillusioned father.
“They should be getting the Chief Minister’s award for good behaviour. Even when I register my dissent, the prison frequently gives them parole,” he said. The CPM had no regret for killing Devadas, said the father. “Violence is its inheritance,” he said. The Congress on its part made a memorial and named a bus shelter and party office after Dasan. As Lakshmi is mentally unstable and cannot sign, she hasn’t been able to avail elderly pension.