Thiruvanathauram: Union Minister Arun Jaitley today met the family of a worker of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh -- the BJP's ideological mentor -- who was killed recently in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram. Rajesh Edavakode, 34, died in hospital after his arm was chopped off. His death came during an ongoing political violence in which rival groups of CPM and RSS workers had targeted each other.
Mr Jaitley's visit was marked by a protest held by the families of deceased CPM workers, who demanded the minster visit them too.
"I visited the kin of our deceased karyakarta Rajesh who was slaughtered in the most barbaric manner," Mr Jaitley told reporters after meeting the family. "He didn't provoke anyone. And yet like in cinema... 70-80 wounds on his body."
Accusing "rival political workers" of being involved in the murder, Mr Jaitley also blamed the state government for failing to control the violence.
"Governments are elected to improve quality of life of people, to make sure the environment of violence is not perpetuated... But what has happened in last few months is an ongoing saga of violence," he said.
As the Left-led government called an all-party meet in the state capital, the CPM hit back. An open letter by CPM Parliamentarian MB Rajesh posted on his Facebook read: "Statistics about different crimes will tell you if Kerala is better off, or Uttar Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh or Gujarat are, where your party is in power. An official reply to a question placed in the UP state assembly on 18.07.2017 which revealed a shocking figure of '729 murders' and '803 rapes' in just two months since Yogiji came to power hasn't created any media outcry! Nobody is bothered about failed states..."
The relatives of 21 people who died in suspected political attacks, meanwhile, held a dharna in front of the Governor's House, demanding Mr Jaitley visit their homes too.
Mr Edavakode was allegedly killed by a gang, which the BJP and his family allege, is linked to the CPM. The police, however, have maintained that the attack was due to personal rivalry. The episode had led to an uproar in the Lok Sabha.
According to State Crime Records Bureau, since 1991, 45 CPM workers and 42 RSS-BJP workers have been killed allegedly by political rivals in Kannur. NDTV accessed police records which say 50 CPM and 44 RSS workers have been killed since 2006.
"Since Feb 2016 -July 2017, 4 CPM and 10 RSS/BJP activists have been killed," the police record said.
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