The incident in which a 29-year old youth, Shuhaib of Edayanoor near Mattannur, Kannur was murdered on Monday night, is extremely condemnable.
Shuhaib who was the block secretary of the Youth Congress and an active supporter of the Sunni, Kanthapuram group, was also extremely active in the social and humanitarian spheres. The traditionalist politicians in Kannur have developed ‘hacking people to death’ as a folk art. Shuhaib is only the latest victim in the murder series they have been carrying out. It is the BJP and the CPM that have been actively maintaining the culture of bloodshed in Kannur. Congress has not been in the picture for the past many years either as victims or as attackers. However, Congress worker Shuhaib has been murdered without any major provocation.
Shuhaib’s murder occurred in a situation when the political killings in Kannur have become a subject of national debate. It is true that this attention has landed the ruling party of CPM in a big crisis. It is the BJP and the section of national media which back the party that have brought Kannur into national focus using the benefits of the Centre. The liberal segment and the media in Kerala have always been in the forefront of exposing the BJP and the RSS, which like the CPM have an equal role in the violence in Kannnur, but pose as victims and try to gain the sympathy at the national level. Even then, they have repeatedly pointed out that the CPM, as a party that handles the home department of the state, has more responsibility in the matter; they have also criticized the approaches of the party. However, Shuhaib’s murder proves that the CPM has not been ready to take in those criticisms or correct them. Although the CPM leaders reiterate that they do not have a role in the murder, they should understand that the people of the state are not naive to believe their claims. The CPM did hold a rally in Edayanoor a few days ago by mentioning Shuhaib by nameand raising slogans against him shouting ‘your days are numbered’. It was following certain trivial issues between KSU-SFI activists at a local school that these open death threats led by the responsible leaders of the DYFI and the CPM took place during the rally.
CPM is a party with a rare knack of force-silencing and killing those who disagree. Thus Kerala's history is also one of murders by them. Their student organization, SFI has been virtually treating college campuses as Stalinist heaven. The skill it has displayed in suppressing with force even the faintest voice of dissent, would in a way send a message that one need not entertain much hope even in its younger generation.
CPM leaders have stated that they condemn the killing of Shuhaib, and if any one from the party is involved, action would be taken against them. But this statement cannot be given any credence more than that of a routine statement. In all the notable cases of murder including that of TP Chandrashekharan the party had come out with similar responses, but it did not take any action on them. The question arising now is how sincerely the government will try to catch the culprits (the real culprits that is) of Shuhaib case and take befitting penal steps. The party should have shown the good sense to realize its shameful situation that in the constituency of its own chief minister, who holds the home portfolio, there is a recurrence of violence in which the party stands accused. That Pinarayi Vijayan is a total failure in handling home affairs is a commentary repeated not only by the public but also by that party's followers. The challenge before the chief minister now is whether he will succeed in ensuring that such failure will not happen again in tracing Shubaib's killers and delivering fitting punishment.