10 detained for murder of RSS worker in Kerala

10 detained for murder of RSS worker in Kerala

10 detained for murder of RSS worker in Kerala
Police on Sunday detained 10 persons in connection with the murder of RSS activist S N Rajesh (34) here even as a familiar blame-game continued to play out regarding political affiliation of the suspects.

Governor P Sathasivam summoned Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and State Police Chief Loknath Behera seeking details of action taken in connection with law and order disruptions in Thiruvananthapuram, against the backdrop of the killing and clashes between activists of the ruling CPM and BJP-RSS.

The BJP alleged that the key suspect, Manikandan, was an activist of the ruling CPM while CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan “revealed” the suspect’s family connections with the Congress party.

The CPM maintained that the killing which happened late on Saturday was not political and was triggered by issues involving Rajesh’s family. The police arrested six men for direct involvement in the murder of the RSS karyavahak and the others for suspected conspiracy.

A gang of armed assailants attacked Rajesh in Kumbakonam in Sreekaryam here, chopping his right palm off and inflicting serious injuries on him before fleeing on motorbikes. Rajesh was shifted to a private hospital where he was declared dead.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called Chief Minister Vijayan to convey his concerns on recent incidents of political violence in the state and sought the arrest of its perpetrators.

“I have expressed my concern with the law and order situation in the state of Kerala. Political violence is unacceptable in a democracy,” Singh said on Twitter. The Chief Minister said Singh “appreciated” the swift detention of all the suspects. The detained men are being questioned by a team led by Range IG Manoj Abraham.

BJP Thiruvananthapuram district president S Suresh said Manikandan and the other suspects, also CPM activists killed Rajesh following directions from the party’s Kannur leadership.

CPM district secretary Anavoor Nagappan said Manikandan and Pramod, another detained suspect, were sons of activists of the Congress-affiliated Indian National Trade Union Congress and BJP-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, respectively.

“Two weeks ago, cases were registered following clashes between two families in the area that had also led to an armed attack on one person. Manikandan was first accused in that case too,” Nagappan said.

The Congress, meanwhile, said it had no links with Manikandan. “During the last election, Manikandan was a booth convener for the (CPM-led) LDF,” Congress president M M Hassan said.

Shutdown, Clashes

The BJP mourned Rajesh with protests and a statewide shutdown, announced late Saturday night, which severely impacted life in the state. Minor clashes and stone-pelting incidents were reported from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha and Kottayam.

The order enforcing prohibitory orders in Thiruvananthapuram city following clashes and an attack on the BJP state committee office has been extended by three more days.
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