Thiruvananthapuram: Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy today visited the family of a BJP activist who was hacked to death in Kerala's Kannur, infamous for CPM- and BJP-backed political murders. Thirty-two-year-old C Biju was hacked to death on Friday afternoon. It was the 15th political murder in the area since 2014. He was also an accused in the murder of a CPM activist, Dhanaraj, that took place in July last year.
Two men have been arrested for the murder and the BJP claims they are affiliated to the CPM. Blaming the CPM for what he called the "cycle of violence", Mr Rudy said, "This is very serious and that too in Chief Minister's district. The state government must provide for the protection of people living here, which the Kerala government has failed to do. We are taking this very seriously".
While Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called Mr Biju's murder "unfortunate", the political killings have been on the rise since his government came to power.
Over the last one year, 8 political murders took place in Kannur - more than half of the 15 reported since 2014. Five of the men who lost their lives belonged to the BJP. The rest were from the CPM.
But the same day, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan was booked by the police for allegedly uploading a fake video on social media that "promotes enmity between groups". A day after Mr Biju's murder, Mr Rajasekharan uploaded a video on his Twitter account that was captioned, "Brutality, bestiality at its worst. Kannur communists celebrate murder of RSS karyakartha Biju, whom they beheaded".
The video had a group of men dancing to traditional drum beats. Mr Rajasekharan alleged that the procession was a victory rally celebrating the murder of the BJP activist.
He had also demanded that Kannur be declared a disturbed area and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act -- which gives security forces immunity from action for any tough measures they take -- be imposed there.
"Irrespective of party identity, our focus has been on getting to the accused. This is about political murders, and not being seen lightly,'' said Kannur district police chief G Siva Vikram.