Kerala: 4 hurt as bomb thrown at RSS headquarters in Kozhikode; is Left-wing extremism on rise in state?

Arkadev Ghoshal
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At least four people were injured when a bomb was hurled at the state headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Kozhikode late on the evening of Thursday, March 2. This is the latest in a series of attacks on Right-wing organisations and its members in Kerala – considered a Left bastion by many.

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Attack in Kozhikode

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The police are currently probing the blast at the RSS headquarters near Nadapuram on Thursday night that resulted in four people being injured. The injured are said to include activists belonging to both the BJP and the RSS. The injured were rushed to hospital after the police arrived on receiving information of the incident. They also increased the security around the area.

One motive behind the attack could be the recent remarks by an RSS leader, in which he had announced a bounty for the killing of current Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Vijiayan belongs to the CPI-M, and Kerala is generally considered a Left bastion, boasting of the world's first democratically elected Communist government.

RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha later said about the incident: "Violent activities of the CPI-M are being patronised and promoted by the Kerala chief minister. It's time for the Home Ministry to issue an advisory to the Kerala government [in this regard]. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh should visit Kerala as it's a question of unsettling the civil society."

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Countering Right-wing influence

Given that the CPI-M only recently returned to power in the state, it would not be amiss to assume that the Leftists want to hold on to it for some time. And given the efforts by the BJP and the RSS to increase their influence in the state, the Left parties, led by the CPI-M, would definitely be concerned.

Political observers are seeing this concern being given vent through a series of attacks on BJP and RSS workers and activists, like the time a 20-year-old was killed in Thrissur, or the time six CPI-M activists were arrested in connection with the murder of a CPI-M activist. The BJP man, named Ezhuthan Santhosh, had been brutally hacked to death in Kannur.

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