Rajesh Edavakode, 34, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker, was hacked to death at Sreekaryam near here Saturday night, escalating the the tension that had engulfed the city following recent clashes between activists of the CPM and the Sangh Parivar.
A pall of gloom descended on Karumbankonam, near Sreekaryam, on Sunday where Rajesh, was brutally killed, around 300 metres away from his home at Vinayaka Nagar.
Rajesh was on his way to his house on his motorcycle after having attended a meeting at the nearby RSS ‘shakha’ when he was attacked. He was waylaid by the assailants who allegedly had come in two vehicles, when Rajesh had stopped near a Milma outlet to buy milk.
Rajesh received many wounds on his limbs and his left arm was chopped and thrown to a filed nearby. The Sreekaryam police who reached the spot recovered the limbs and rushed him to the medical college hospital. He was later shifted to a private hospital and subjected for an emergency operation. However, he soon succumbed to injuries.
Earlier, the police while conducting the inquest on the body of Rajesh, had counted as many as 89 injuries, revealing the grotesque fashion in which the crime was committed. These injuries included both major and minor wounds.
A postmortem examination revealed that around 10-15 injuries had caused Rajesh’s death. The fatal injuries included the chopping off his left hand from the elbow, and a series of hack wounds on the head, face and neck.
Rajesh, who used to work as a mason, is survived by his father Sudharshan, mother Lalitha Kumari, wife Reena and two children Adhithyan, a Class 1 student of Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom, and Abhishek, a LKG student of Government Lower Primary School in Kariyam.
The body was taken in procession to his house, where it was kept for the public to pay homage. The mortal remains were taken to the Shanthi Kavadam in Thycaud by around 5.15 p.m., where the cremation was held. BJP district president Kummanam Rajasekharan, national executive member V. Muraleedharan and district president S. Suresh were among those who were present.
Earlier on Sunday the police had arrested six members of the team team in connection with the case. The prime perpetrator of the crime Manikuttan, besides Vijith, Abey, Vipin, Shyju, Moni, Saaju, Arun, Gireesh, Manoj, Rajesh, Mahesh and Pramod were the people who got arrested by the police. All of them are found to be CPM members.
BJP state president Kummanam Rajashekaran had alleged earlier that Manikuttan, a CPM activist, led the attack. Manikuttan was punished earlier as per the Goondas Act. The arrested were all natives of Sreekaryam, were the ones arrested from Pulippara in Kattakada. The police also recovered the bikes used by the accused to flee from the spot.
A spate of violent incidents were reported from the state capital early Friday after workers of the after workers of the ruling CPM and the BJP vandalized party offices and damaged vehicles. Houses of party workers also bore the brunt of the attacks, including the residence of Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
A statement from the Raj Bhavan said the Governor summoned the Chief Minister to “get first-hand information regarding the incidents and the steps taken.”
The statement said Pinarayi told the Governor the main culprits behind the crime had already been arrested. “The Chief Minister said he proposes to meet state BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan and the state RSS chief after which he will appeal to the public to maintain peace,” the statement said.
“The Chief Minister informed the Governor the lawbreakers will be sternly dealt with irrespective of their status or political affiliation,” the statement said. Sathasivam told DGP Loknath Behera to take all possible measures to book the culprits and maintain peace.
DGP Loknath Behera briefed Sathasivam on the arrests made on Sunday morning and the action taken to maintain law and order in the state. He also said that the Anti-goonda squad in the state will play a more active role in the wake of recent violent incidents in the state.
“Police will not allow the recurrence of violence. Impartial action will be taken against the perpetrators of violence. Only one persons is left to be nabbed among the accused in the murder of RSS Karyavahak Rajesh in Thiruvananthapuram. He will be nabbed soon,” Behera said.
The investigation and other proceedings are being supervised by IG, Manoj Abraham. The IG said that that the inspection is being conducted without prejudices.
The Governor also apprised Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh of the law and order situation and measures taken to contain the violence.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s Office claimed in a Facebook post the Union Home Minister had expressed satisfaction over the arrest of the accused persons within hours of the murder of Rajesh.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said political violence was unacceptable in a democracy. He said he expected political violence in the state would be curbed and the perpetrators arrested.
The bilateral talks, which was convened a day after the Governor P. Sathasivam had summoned the Chief Minister, was attended by CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan, O. Rajagopal, RSS leader P. Gopalankutty, among others.
As part of efforts to restore peace in the State, an all-party meeting will be held in Thiruvananthapuram on August 6. Meetings will be convened in Kannur, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram to suggest measures to prevent further clashes that had taken place in these districts.
Deeply condemning the violent incidents that have rocked the State in the past few days, the meeting decided to reinforce the decisions that had been taken in the previous meetings held in the aftermath of political violence in Kannur some months ago.
Meanwhile, the Thiruvananthapuram city police extended the prohibitory orders for three more days under Kerala Police Act. Demonstrations and public meetings will not be allowed. Police said case will be registered against those making social media posts with an intention to incite violence.