Political violence in Kerala changes colour with entry of hardline Islamic outfits

The two revenge killings in Alappuzha in a span of 12 hours have brought to focus the growing violent approach of hardline Islamic outfits such as SDPI and PFI.

Published: 20th December 2021 03:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th December 2021 03:48 AM   |  A+A-


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Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When it comes to political killings in the state, the recent trend indicates the growing brutal force of Islamic fundamental outfits such as SDPI and PFI, punching their weight in equal measure with the CPM on one end and BJP/RSS on the other.

While the police claim that the number of political murders has come down significantly in recent years, the two revenge killings in Alappuzha in a span of 12 hours have brought to focus the growing violent approach of hardline Islamic outfits such as SDPI and PFI.

The murder of BJP leader Renjith Sreenivasan early on Sunday was in retaliation to the killing of SDPI leader KS Shan - which is in turn suspected to be a case of revenge for the murder of Nandu Krishnan, an RSS activist, at Vayalar allegedly by SDPI activists in February.

Last month, RSS worker A Sanjith (27) was killed allegedly by PFI workers. In 2018, SFI leader Abhimanyu (20) was stabbed to death by the activists of Campus Front, the students' wing of PFI. Until a few years ago, retaliatory killings have mostly been witnessed in Kannur, which is considered the hotbed of CPM and RSS politics.

The latest twin murders in Alappuzha come at a time when the CPM was just recovering from the shock of seeing their former MLA arraigned by the CBI in the Periya twin murder case at Kasaragod. During the previous outing of the LDF government (2016 -21) led by Pinarayi Vijayan, nearly 30 political killings were reported - 10 of them in Kannur alone. 

CPM politburo leader MA Baby told The New Indian Express that this was not the first time political killings were happening in the state as neither the RSS nor the SDPI required a reason to unleash violence. "Now the SDPI has emulated the RSS' style by initiating retaliatory killing. Creating unrest is a matter of existence for these two fundamentalist forces. It is high time people voice their strong displeasure against them," said Baby.

If so far cadre parties like CPM and RSS were at loggerheads, now a minority radical outfit like SDPI seem to be emerging stronger in the practice of retaliatory killing. 

Senior BJP leader PK Krishnadas said the SDPI has been treading a dangerous path, unlike political parties. "The slain BJP leader Renjith’s face was disfigured in the attack. Only a terrorist outfit with a wide network like SDPI can carry out such a gruesome killing. Their plan is to target their political detractors under each subdivision," said Krishnadas.

Four political murders in state this year

Addl DGP (Headquarters) Manoj Abraham told The New Indian Express that this year the state has witnessed only four political killings. "The first political killing during 2021 saw the CPM being accused of killing an IUML activist, Mansoor of Kuthuparamba. Later, an RSS worker, Nandu Krishna was killed allegedly by the SDPI in Vayalar in Alappuzha in November. With the latest twin killings in Alappuzha, the total political killings is four," said Abraham.


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