The death of a 70-year-old person by his acquaintance in Kollam on Saturday evening has suddenly acquired a political tone as the victim was a CPIM member and the accused a Congress activist.
The CPIM called a hartal in Chithira panchayat on Sunday. AM Basheer of Chithara in Kollam district was a CPIM branch committee member and earned a living selling tapioca. Kadakkal police said there was an altercation between Basheer, who was on his way home after selling tapioca, and Shahjahan, a Congress activist, on Saturday.
Police said Shahjahan was provoked when Basheer called him by his nickname. Later around 2 pm, Shajahan went to Basheer's place and attacked him with a knife. Basheer's wife and a woman tried to intervene but they too were attacked. Basheer was shifted to the taluk hospital in Kadakkal where he was declared brought-dead.
Shajahan was taken into custody late on Saturday.
Basheer's brother Salahudheen claimed that political vengeance was behind the murder and CPIM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in a Facebook post asserted this. He said the Congress had warned of retaliation to the murder of two Youth Congress workers in Kasaragod recently.
Police are yet to confirm any political vengeance behind the crime.