Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday paid a visit to the family of RSS workers Rajesh who was recently hacked to death in Kerala. The defence minister's visit focused lambasting the Kerala government for ongoing political violence more than settling political disputes.
Attacking the CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala for the increasing attacks against BJP-RSS workers, Jaitley alleged that incidents of violence always increased in the state, whenever the LDF came to power.
He also charged that the political opponents of the ruling dispensation were being killed in a most “brutal and barbaric” manner in the state and added that it was the state government’s responsibility to ensure that those indulging in violence were brought to book.
Strong statements by Jaitley were however largely one sided as he failed to register violence meted out by BJP-RSS workers in action or reaction to ongoing political vendetta in the state.
Here is the list of people, both CPM-LDF and BJP-RSS, who have lost their lives to political violence in Kerala from 2016 to till now.
On 29 July 2017, 34-year-old RSS worker Rajesh was murdered allegedly by a gang led by a history-sheeter in Kerala.
Although not declared a political murder, police arrested 16 RSS workers in connection with the killing of a teenager called Ananthu Ashokan at Cherthala. He was killed by a gang near a temple in April 2017.
On 12 May 2017, RSS worker Biju was murdered by alleged CPM activists in Payyanur, prompting the BJP to demand the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Kannur district.
BJP worker Ezhuthan Santhosh, 52, was hacked to death at Andallur on 18 January 2017. Alleging that the CPM was behind the murder, BJP called for dawn-to-dusk bandh in the district the next day.
27-year-old Sujith, an RSS activist, was killed on 13 February 2016 days after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's call for talks to end three-decade-long political rivalry with CPM.
CPM worker Cherikandath Raveendran, 55, was killed on 18 May 2016 in an attack allegedly by RSS members while he was on a victory rally of CPM workers in Kandyarmukku.
On 11 July 2016, CPM worker Dhanraj, 52, was stabbed to death in Payyanur in front of his relatives. CPM blamed RSS workers for the cold-blooded murder.
Later on the same day, auto-rickshaw driver CK Ramachandran was killed, allegedly by CPM workers, in a similar fashion. This led to several bandhs across Kerala and a long phase of political violence.
26-year-old RSS worker Bineesh was hacked to death by suspected CPM supporters on 4 September, 2016 in Kannur district, making it the fifth political murder in the district after the Left Front government came to power in Kerala three months earlier.
Kuzhichalil Mohanan, 50, was killed on 10 October 2016 after five masked men armed with swords, allegedly belonging to the RSS, attacked him and almost severed his limbs. Mohanan was a member of the CPM’s local committee in Vengad panchayat.
Two days later, BJP worker Ramith was reported dead in an attack, making it the seventh political murder in the district in 2016. Reportedly, Ramit’s father Uthaman was hacked to death by alleged CPM workers in 2002.
(The 2016 list was compiled based on an RTI reply from Kerala Police. The 2017 list is from various news reports filed this year, it may not be exhaustive)