The Tamil Nadu BJP unit and Hindu outfits in the state are again attempting to communalise the murder of a local party functionary despite evidence pointing to inter-personal enmity as the reason for the killing.
On the night of September 15, a group of armed men barged into the house of V Ranganathan(35), a local BJP functionary in Kundumaranpalli village in Hosur in Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu and hacked him to death. Soon after the death, local BJP leaders staged a protest seeking action against communal and political forces behind the murder.
The BJP workers in the protest to whom The Federal spoke claimed that the murder was the fallout of a political rivalry with a Tamil nationalist party or with one of the left parties in the district.
“If it is not the nationalist party, it must be the left party cadres. Strict action should be taken against them,” said KS Narendiran, a local BJP functionary.
However, according to preliminary investigation the murder was the outcome of a verbal spat between Ranganathan and a few people at a bakery in his locality.
“We were probing all the angles and we ruled out political and communal motives. The murder was over a previous enmity between the victim and other individuals, triggered by a recent argument,” said a senior police officer, not wanting to be named.
This is not the first time the BJP and allied Hindutva outfits have attempted to communalise and politicize such killings.
On September 13, C Biju of Dhanalakshmi Nagar near Avarampalayam in Coimbatore was hacked to death by a seven member gang. Though he was just a supporter of the Hindu Munnani group, members of the group staged protests claiming it was done by communal forces. Coimbatore city police soon traced the accused that disproved the Munnani claims.
According to the police, Biju, who runs a soda shop and finance company, had a difference of opinion with some families. This eventually turned violent, resulting in his killing.
Earlier this month, 23-year-old Arunkumar in Ramanathapuram who was celebrating Ganesh festival was stabbed to death. Soon, a local Hindutva group went on a protest and accused members of another religious group for the murder.
The accused group was a mixed religious group. It transpired, after an investigation, that the murder was the result of a fallout between two gangs over money in exchange for drugs.
There was an attempt by Hindutva outfits to take to social media to blame members of another community but Ramanathapuram SP Varun Kumar went on Twitter to clear the air and state that there was nothing communal in the murder and that it was the result of personal enmity.
Varun Kumar’s intervention did not go well with a senior BJP functionary and the officer had to face the wrath of the state government. Within days, he was removed as the SP of Ramanathapuram and was kept on compulsory wait before being posted as the SP of office automation and computerization, Chennai.
“People have been seeing such attempts at communal polarization since 1993,” said writer R Murugavel from Coimbatore.
According to sources, higher ups in the BJP felt embarrassed after the Ramanathapuram incident as the senior police officer himself clarified there was no communal angle in the murder, after the BJP and Hindu Munnani made a huge fuss.
“So, we have been asking our party workers and supporters to play down such murders unless the cause of the death is pointing to a communal or political angle. If not, we have asked our supporters not to rake them up as they end up damaging the reputation and credibility of our party,” said a BJP member in Coimbatore.