There is seemingly no end to incidents of death of political workers in Kerala as two workers from Congress were killed on February 17 in Kasargod district.
The two workers, Kripesh and Sarath Lal, were riding a motorcycle when they were stopped and attacked by a group of men in an SUV, police sources told PTI. The two Congress workers were returning to their homes after attending an event.
The police have said that the killings may have occurred in the aftermath of the brewing tension between the ruling CPM party workers and Congress. There were clashes in the area involving the workers of both the parties.
While Congress president Rahul Gandhi has condemned the killings, state unit chief Mullapally Ramachandran has blamed Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Ramachandran has asked the Kerala CM to "tell his people to give up weapons," News 18 reported.
"This cannot go on. What was the fault of our young workers who got killed? It is high time the Chief Minister aks his men to give up arms. This was a planned murder and the CPM is responsible for the same," Ramachandran added.
The brutal murder of two members of our Youth Congress family in Kasargod, Kerala is shocking. The Congress Party stands in solidarity with the families of these two young men & I send them my deepest condolences. We will not rest till the murderers are brought to justice.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 18, 2019
Meanwhile, Congress has called for Kerala bandh in protest against the killings of its workers
Kerala's political murders continue unabated
The killing of two Congress leaders adds a new dimension to the already toxic political environment in Kerala with BJP and Left parties claiming that they have lost more than 100 workers each in the past 10 years. Although the official figures put the number of political workers killed between 2000-2016 at 70.
BJP president Amit Shah had earlier blamed Kerala Chief Minister for failing to curb the political killings in the state. In 2017, BJP had started Janraksha yatra to highlight the killing of its workers, training their guns at the CPM-ruled Left Democratic Front government.
CPM has also alleged that BJP has killed its workers. The blame game started after the RSS-BJP tried to make inroads in Kannur district, which is the heart of the communist movement in the state.
The BJP has also been accusing the left parties of not being able to stop the rising cases of "Love Jihad.