Kollam: The recent murder of a homestay owner on the backwater island of Munroe Thuruthu in Kollam had raised political tensions amid local body polls in the southern districts of Kerala as the victim and the accused belong to rival parties.
Contrary to rumours of political motives, the police claim that a dispute arising from personal animosity led to the murder R Manilal.
The First Information Report and the remand report state personal rivalry rather than any political angle.
Manilal, 50, of Villimangalam was stabbed to death on Sunday night. The police had arrested Ashokan, also of Villimangalam, over the incident.
There was an ongoing dispute between Manilal and Ashokan over bringing tourists to the tourist resort. Manilal was verbally abused and then stabbed to death on Sunday night, the police report said.
The CPM had claimed that Manilal's was a political murder and even Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan alleged in a Facebook post that RSS workers were behind the murder. However, his remand report trashes the CPM’s claim.
Manilal was an active member of the CPM. It is learnt that Ashokan who was also a CPM follower had joined the BJP recently.
The police stance from the beginning was that the animosity between the two was the main reason for the murder.
Kollam Rural SP R Ilango said that further investigation would be held and all angles of the murder are being probed.
An autorickshaw driver, Sathyan, who was arrested for helping Ashokan to flee after the incident, has been remanded.