The BJP is holding a 15-day foot-march in Kerala against what it calls the CPM's "murder politics".
An activist of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP, was dragged out of his vehicle and beaten up with iron rods near Kerala's Kannur today. The assault came at a time the BJP is in the middle of a 15-day foot-march in the state to highlight what it calls the "murder politics" of the ruling CPM. The police say initial investigations point to a political angle to the attack on 31-year-old Suresh KM.
The man, who drives an auto-rickshaw for a living, was targeted at a by-lane in Thalessary, 22 km from Kannur town. He sustained injuries on his head and leg. According to doctors, his condition is stable, the police said.
"We have sent a police team to the hospital where the RSS activist is admitted to see if he has been able to identify any of the attackers. Prima facie, we are probing this as a case of political attack," district police chief G Siva Vikram told NDTV.
The attack coincides with a recovery of a cache of arms from near the BJP office in Kannur. The police said they found seven rods and three swords buried in a field adjacent to the party office. The rusted weapons were unearthed during a search that was undertaken following an attack on a CPM procession on Sunday. The BJP says the weapons were hidden to malign the party.
There has been a huge spike in violence in Kannur, one of the most politically volatile areas of the state, since the CPM-led Left Democratic Front came to power. Most of the clashes have taken place between the workers of the CPM and the BJP and RSS.
The BJP says since 2001, nearly 120 of its workers have been killed across the state by Left cadres. In the 16 months since the LDF government came to power in May 2016, 14 of the attacks took place in Kannur.
Crime Bureau statistics show that 45 CPM activists, 44 of the BJP, 15 of the Congress and four from the Muslim League have been killed since 1991 in Kannur.
The BJP's Jan Raksha Yatra got off to a fiery start last Tuesday, with party chief Amit Shah -- in his address -- holding state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan "directly responsible for all political murders in Kerala".
On Sunday, a CPM procession was attacked in Kannur's Panoor area, allegedly by BJP activists, in which five CPM activists and four police personnel were injured, the police said.