Why does Kannur in Kerala burn when polls are round the corner?

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When elections are round the corner there is always escalation of both violence and tension in Kannur, Kerala.

In the past thirty years, Kannur has always been on the boil when elections are round the corner and some statistics would reveal that there have been nearly 280 deaths during this period.


Two incidents have been reported in the recent weeks which have left everyone shell shocked. K Biju an RSS activist was attacked and according to the police this was the handiwork of few elements who were linked to the CPI(M).

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Biju survived the assault. Last month another RSS worker, Sujith was killed after being attacked near his home at Pappinassery.

Political killings and unprecedented violence:

For the past many years one has witnessed this trend where political killings and violence have shot up when the elections are round the corner. The violence is higher during the assembly elections as the stakes are considerably higher.

Experts point out that the fight is for supremacy between the RSS and the CPI(M). The CPI(M) considers Kannur as its main stay and is not ready to let go of the supremacy they enjoy over here.

The RSS has been making inroads in Kannur district and this has led to the escalation of the violence. It is a bloody battle for supremacy over here, police officials who have investigated these cases of violence say.

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In some of the cases it is straight forward killing while in others it is revenge. The case relating to K Manoj of the RSS who was killed in 2014 was stated to be a case of revenge.

The police investigation showed that Manoj's murder was orchestrated by one Jayarajan who is a CPI(M) Kannur district leader.

It was said that there was an attempt made on Jayarajan's life in 1999 and hence he avenged it by killing Manoj.

The BJP which is trying to make inroads into Kerala says that these incidents of violence and killings are due to the growing insecurity among the CPI(M) leaders.

In Kannur district both the BJP and the CPI(M) have a good vote bank. The BJP in particular is banking on the Ezhava community for their votes.

Kannur district comprises a good number of Muslims and Ezhavas. The Ezhavas and the Nairs are the two major Hindu communities in the state and the former alone comprises 20 per cent of them.

The RSS and the BJP say that it is the insecurity within the CPI(M) which is causing these incidents. However the CPI(M) has a different story to tell.

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They say if one takes the number of deaths and injuries there are much more on their side. They also feel that the RSS is backed by a business lobby which is trying to check the growth of Muslim traders in this district who are considered to be extremely influential in nature.

The violence in Kannur has not been restricted to just the BJP and the CPI(M). In the later half of 1980 when the Congress took on the CPI(M) the violence had escalated to another level.

From street and sword fights, Kannur district witnessed bomb attacks as well with workers of both parties trying to outdo each other.

The battle between the Congress and CPI(M) lasted until 2007 and then the BJP returned to being the enemy of the latter.

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