Police on toes as consecutive political murders rock Kerala

Going by the state government’s statistics, there is major increase in violence, murders and organised attacks 

Published: 17th April 2022 07:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2022 07:11 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Back-to-back political murders in Palakkad on Friday and Saturday have brought out the pathetic state of law and order in the state. Going by the state government’s statistics, there is a drastic increase in violence, murders and organised attacks. 

The latest incidents are the murders of RSS activist Sreenivasan and Popular Front of India activist Subair in Palakkad on consecutive days. Similarly, many such murders occurred in the recent past which reveals that police enforcement is failing to the core. The Palakkad murders have prompted State Police Chief Anil Kant to direct all district police chiefs to ensure prevention of such incidents in future. 

As per the data available with the home department, as many as 1,019 murders occurred in the past three years till March 8, 2022. Of these, 83 were murders following organised attacks. In 2019, 308 murder cases were reported while the following year came close behind with 305 cases. In 2021, there was a sudden spurt in cases- 336- while 70 murder cases were reported till March 8, 2022.

All these years, Thiruvananthapuram Rural district remained on top with 104 cases while Kozhikode recorded the lowest number of cases - 21-  in the state. In all these murder cases, 1,065 people were killed. Of the total figures, 319 people were killed in 2019, 318 in 2020 and 353 in 2021. A total of 75 persons were killed in 2022 till March 8, the data said.

TP Senkumar, former state police chief, said that there has been a spurt in organised attacks and murders in the past two years in the state due to influence of drugs. 

“It is true that organised murders are on the rise. It is mainly due to the influence of drugs. So this can be reduced only by wiping out drug trafficking in the state. The other murders were between close relatives. It is also a matter of concern. However, we can’t conclude that the recent murders are the highest in the state so far. In 1990s, average murder cases were above 500. Since the prohibition of arrack came into force in 1996, there was a considerable fall in murder cases. But now, the majority of murders are happening under the influence of drugs, “ Senkumar said. 

A senior police officer told TNIE on condition of anonymity that these murders are the fallout of local gang wars. “It is true that drugs are the trigger for murders. If a minor skirmish happens, they are taking extreme steps by killing their rivals. In most of the cases, drug is a key influence for assailants. However, the police are on the job to curb these incidents. More police personnel will be deployed at sensitive areas in state due to the murders that happened in two consecutive days,” the officer said. According to data from the state police, six political murders were reported in 2020 while only four were reported in 2021. In 2022, a CPM worker K Haridasan, 54, was hacked to death in front of his relatives in Thalassery allegedly by RSS workers on February 21. 

On February 18, a worker of an apolitical collective Twenty20, C K Deepu, 36, was attacked in front of his aged parents, allegedly by CPM workers in Ernakulam. In 2016-2021, the first tenure of the LDF government, 32 political murders were reported in the state, of which, 12 took place in Kannur, the chief minister’s home district, police records show. 

The state police have warned of stringent action against those who spread rumours and misleading information on social media. The move follows instances of spreading false and unverified news on various social media platforms after the political murders in Palakkad.  In a statement, the state police said WhatsApp groups and their admins and Facebook pages that spread messages which could incite communal riots are under surveillance of the police. The police said strict action would be taken against such rumour-mongers.

V Muraleedharan, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, and K Surendran, state BJP chief, have blamed the police for their lapses in the Palakkad twin murders. Muraleedharan said that the law and order situation in the state has crumpled. “Day by day, the law and order situation in the state is getting worse. It is the responsibility of the police to put an end to the militant activities being practised by an organisation,” said Muraleedharan. Surendran alleged that the state government and police are helping militants to kill people. “The brutal killing of a BJP worker in Alappuzha had happened during the last Onam season due to the lapses on the part of the police. Now the twin killings in Palakkad have also happened due to the same reason,” said Surendran.


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