The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which heads the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have locked horns yet again in the state. The latest confrontation that has set political temperatures in the state rising revolves around yet another suspected political murder of RSS worker Choorakad Biju.
A native of Ramanthali, Biju was hacked to death by a group of men in the Payyanur town of the Kannur district on Friday, May 12. The BJP has alleged political vendetta and complicity of the CPI-M in the murder, a charge the latter has vehemently denied.
Incidentally, the victim is among the 12 people accused in the Dhanaraj murder case and was out on bail. CPI-M worker Dhanaraj had been hacked to death in July last year by a gang wearing masks as his family watched in horror.
While the Kerala Police are probing the matter and the officers believed to have identified the suspects involved in the murder, the BJP is not keen on letting the ruling part off the hook. The police have arrested three in connection with Biju's murder.
Earlier, Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief minister, had promised swift action against the culprits but brushed aside the incident as one among many such incidents that have taken place in the Kannur district.
But what is further fuelling the tension in the state are the accusations and counter-accusations. Following the murder of the RSS worker, the state BJP had called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Kannur. What followed on Saturday however was unfortunate as both national and state leaders of the BJP came together to relay a false video of an ambulance allegedly being attacked by CPI-M activists at Pariyaram Medical College.
While it is common for the people to share videos and images of various incidents on social media platforms without actually verifying them, Rajya Sabha member and Bengaluru-based media baron Rajeev Chandrasekhar came under flak for spreading half-truths through a retweet spread by the Twitter handle @savarkar5200, which has over 25,000 followers.
The tweet read: "FLASH : Even before funeral procession starts, Marxists attacks hospital, ambulance carrying body of RSS worker Biju Police watch helplessly [sic]."
Though Rajeev Chandrasekhar later removed the tweet fearing backlash, such action by people like him raises an alarm. And BJP, which is desperate to make inroads into electoral base in Kerala indulging in such political discourse, would only invite criticism.
CCTV visuals from the Pariyaram Medical College show that what the BJP and the RSS claimed are not true.
Visuals from the camera show an ambulance of Payyanur Co-operative Hospital being attacked by goons in the presence of the BJP leader Valsan Thillankeri.
The group then goes on a rampage, destroying the casualty wing of the hospital. Even the equipment installed at the facility is not spared.
The ambulance that was attacked by purportedly RSS and BJP activists was at the time of the incident ferrying a patient named Abdul Rahman from Trikaripur.
This certainly is not the last on a spate of incidents in the CPI-M and BJP rivalry in the state.