The late night killing of a local CPI(M) leader on the eve of Independence Day saw a dramatic turn of events on Monday with an eyewitness initially claiming the culprits were party members and soon turned around to allege that they were RSS workers, while the BJP contended that the Left party was trying to hide its alleged complicity in the murder.
The eyewitness, who was with the victim at the time of the attack on Sunday, told a TV channel in the morning that an eight-member group was waiting for them at the Marutha road near here and after some heated words were exchanged, two of the attackers hacked to death Kunnangadu resident Shajahan.
The eyewitness initially alleged that the two who hacked Shajahan were CPI(M) members and one among the attackers was the son of the eyewitness and that is why he was not killed. Subsequently, barely a couple of hours later, the eyewitness told another TV channel that all the assailants were allegedly RSS workers.
He claimed that the two who carried out the killing were earlier members of the CPI(M), but were now in the RSS. CPI(M) district secretary E N Suresh Babu also said that the assailants were in the past members of the party, but were in the RSS for the last over one year.
Speaking to the CPI(M)-run TV channel, he said Shajahan’s killing was with the full knowledge of the RSS. He alleged that some RSS workers got into an argument with CPI(M) members over replacing a DYFI flex board with one regarding Sree Krishna Jayanti and the victim tried to resolve the issue.
Amidst the arguments, four people left on two bikes and soon returned with weapons and targeted Shajahan, Babu said. Opposing the allegations of the CPI(M) district secretary, BJP state president K Surendran termed Babu’s claims as an attempt to pin the killing on the Sangh Parivar to hide the alleged complicity of the ruling party in the murder.
Surendran said, in a Facebook post, that he was thankful to the eyewitness and the media which brought out the truth. Meanwhile, an officer of Malampuzha police station, in whose jurisdictional limits the crime was committed, said they were trying to verify which party the assailants belonged to.
The officer said that according to the FIR, it is alleged that the assailants were BJP-RSS workers. He said that the assailants were CPI(M) members in the past, but whether they were still part of the Left party has to be verified.
The officer also said that while the assailants have been identified, no one is in custody, no arrests have been made yet and that the investigation was going on. Shajahan was a local committee member of the CPI(M), police said, adding that the incident happened around 9.30 PM on Sunday near the leader’s house.
Local Left leaders said the victim had been out arranging decorations for the Independence Day celebrations when the incident occurred. After the incident, local CPI(M) leaders had alleged that the “BJP and RSS were behind the murder”. However, the BJP district leadership in a statement had denied the allegation.