Thiruvananthapuram: As union finance minister Arun Jaitley embarks on a mission to flag political violence in Kerala and put the ruling Left Democratic Front in the state on a mat, a cursory look at the figures would also put the Bharatiya Janata Party in a fix.
In 2016-17, 107 political murders occurred in Kerala of which 50 victims are CPM activists, as per the National Crime Records Bureau.
Forty two BJP activists also lost their lives to mindless political violence. The number of Congress workers killed is five, same as that of the Muslim League.
Three NDF activists, a CPI sympathizer and a Janata Dal (United) worker were also killed in the period, as per the official documents.
Kerala accounted for 12 political murders in 2016 and came third on the list of states with the most number of political killings. But the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 28 political murders followed by Jharkhand with 15.
According to the documents submitted in the Kerala Legislative Assembly, 12 political murders were reported after the Pinarayi-led LDF government assumed power in May, 2016.
In that period, the BJP has lost four of its activists, while two CPM men were also killed in Kannur. Two Muslim League activists lost their lives in Kozhikode while the same number of BJP activists were killed in Palakkad.
As per the documents, a CPM activist was murdered in Kottayam and a BJP worker was killed in Kollam district.
The number of those arrested in connection with the political murders stands at 77.
As per the records of the state Crime Records Bureau (CRB), the number of people who lost their lives in 2016 is 15 – CPM (6), BJP (5), Congress (2), Muslim League (2). One of these murders happened during the fag end of the Oommen Chandy-led UDF government.
But the victims of all four political murders in the state this year are BJP backers.
The CRB officials admit that it was a tough task to collate figures of political killings as many local and personal issues could have also been the motives. Only after a detailed study can it be deciphered whether it was more of personal enmity than political rivalry which led to the murders.
As per the records of the CPM, the party lists 564 martyrs. Those who had lost their lives amid various party struggles are also included in this. The party claims 400 of its workers have been murdered by its political rivals.
According to the RSS-BJP combine, after 1969, nearly 300 activists of the saffron brigade have been killed in Kerala.
In the last one year, the RSS-BJP combine claims it has lost 13 of its activists as a result of political murders.