Shajahan murder: CPM says RSS did it. CPI, Congress question early conclusion

Shajahan (left) and C Krishnakumar (right). Photo: Manorama Online.

The murder of a local CPM leader in Kerala's Palakkad district on the eve of Independence Day has triggered a political controversy with the CPM alleging RSS-BJP hands behind the crime, even as opposition parties and some top Left leaders have come out calling it an early conclusion.

Shajahan, a CPM local committee member at Kunnangadu, was hacked to death by a bike-borne gang at Marutha Road.

District Police Chief R Viswanath on Monday said the murderers have been identified. He said the crime was committed by an eight-member gang and they would be arrested soon.

The question as to who was behind the killing saw a dramatic twist earlier in the day when an eyewitness -- also a CPM member -- told a TV channel in the morning that it was allegedly party members who had hacked Shajahan to death.

Barely a few hours later, the eyewitness told another TV channel that it was allegedly RSS workers who had killed the CPM leader. He said that the assailants were earlier members of the Left party and had then moved on to RSS.

The murder led to a war of words involving various political parties as the CPM categorically stated that RSS-BJP activists were behind the crime. The CPM state secretariat on Monday issued a statement saying Shajahan was murdered by RSS/BJP activists with a criminal background for opposing their communal agenda and illegal activities.

The ruling party put its stand on record after the eyewitness said CPM men were behind the murder.

“The murderers are active members of the RSS/BJP. They have links with the ganja mafia. Shajahan used to question their illegal activities and they held a grudge against him for this. The CPM had installed a board to congratulate students who scored high marks in public exams in the area. The RSS activists tried to erect another board on Sree Krishna Jayanti at the same place which led to a dispute on Sunday night. Shajahan was hacked amid the scuffle,” the party said in its statement calling to isolate the murderers.

It said the RSS/BJP were on a smear campaign against CPM workers using a section of media.

CPM leader and Public Works Minister P A Mohammed Riyas also blamed RSS/BJP activists for the murder. However, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury refuted the claim saying it wasn't time yet to conclude so.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also did not mention the RSS/BJP in his statement condemning the murder.

The CM said that strict action will be taken against such moves to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in the state and that the police have been directed to leave no stone unturned in its investigation to bring the culprits to justice.

Earlier in the day, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran had also stayed away from pointing fingers at any organisation before proper investigation was conducted. He had said that as soon as a murder is committed, it's not right to make allegations. Let the police find whether someone is trying to deter peace, he said.

No role: BJP

The BJP has refuted the charges against its activists. BJP state general secretary C Krishnakumar on Monday said that CPM was spreading fake news that Shajahan was killed by the RSS. Krishnakumar said here that Shajahan has close connections with those like Arjun Ayanki whom he termed “CPM criminals.” He added that the allegation that the murder is committed by those who left the CPM to join BJP was baseless and that no one from the party would be named accused in the same.

Is CPM probing? asks Satheesan

The opposition Congress joined the debate asking if the CPM state committee was probing the case.

“On what basis is the CPM stating RSS was behind the murder. Last night, a top police officer said there was no political motive behind the murder. However, the FIR says otherwise. An eye witness, meanwhile, has contradicted the FIR. It is up to the police to bring out the truth. The CPM has been scoring some self goals of late,” Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan told media.

"Let the police investigate," he said and added that CPM had blamed Congress for the attack on AKG Centre, but to date, no evidence has been found against it.

State Congress chief K Sushakaran also blamed the CPM for reaching early conclusions. “Why should CPM blame RSS for all murders? CPM members themselves are speaking out against the party and the police are siding with the party,” he said.

Shajahan was attacked around 9.30 pm near his house. Though he was immediately taken to the hospital, his life could not be saved.
Police have examined CCTV visuals from the nearby areas.

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