CPI (M) state secretary MV Govindan skips inauguration of controversial martyr’s memorial in Kerala

Earlier, Govindan had maintained that it was the party that decides whether he should take part in the programme.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 23, 2024 | 10:47 AMUpdatedMay 23, 2024 | 10:55 AM

MV Govindan

CPI (M) leader MV Govindan on Wednesday, 22 May, skipped the inauguration of the controversial martyr’s memorial honouring two individuals who lost their lives while making country bombs in this district nine years ago.

Though the local leadership maintained that the party-state secretary would attend the event, the party’s district secretary MV Jayarajan inaugurated the memorial located in Panoor in Kannur, at the last minute.

The party is yet to offer an official explanation over Govindan backing out at the last minute.

Though Govindan skipped the event, the programme saw the participation of party workers and local leaders.

Earlier, Govindan had maintained that it was the party that decides whether he should take part in the programme.

“This is a local issue. There is no need to make it a mountainous issue and discuss it in the news. The district leadership of the party has to answer in this regard,” Govindan had earlier told reporters.

The Left party had initially distanced itself from the incident and did not acknowledge the deceased individuals. However, nine years later, the CPI(M) has built a memorial in their honour, terming them martyrs.

The CPI(M) faced criticism from the Congress after reports emerged that the ruling party’s state secretary would inaugurate the martyr’s memorial.

Flaying the decision of the CPI(M) to build a memorial for persons involved in “criminal activities,” the Congress had sought to know what kind of message this sends to the people of Kerala.

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What happened in 2015?

CPI(M) workers Subeesh and Shaiju were killed and two others were injured when a bomb they were clandestinely making exploded near East Chettakandi in the Kakrotkunnu area of Panoor in the Kannur district, in June 2015.

The area is politically sensitive and has witnessed several BJP-CPI(M) clashes. The locals then stated that they heard a loud explosion near Shaiju’s house.

According to the police, the deceased were identified as Vadakaey Karal Subeesh (25), and Kilabil Shaiju (35), both residents of Thekkum Muri, while Rathish (26), and Nijish (28), residents of Koyiloor were injured.

Subeesh and Shaiji, who were grievously injured, died while they were being rushed to the Thalassery Cooperative Hospital.

The police had said that Shaiju was involved in over 18 cases related to clashes with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Congress, and BJP members.

Making of martyrs: Outrage in Kerala over CPI(M) honouring bomb-makers with a memorial

CPI (M)’s change in stance

The CPI(M) then immediately went into denial mode, particularly because the local body elections were around the corner, which took place on 2 November and 5 November.

The then CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan denied the allegations and demanded a proper investigation into the case.

He then clarified that the party had no role in the blast and that the rivals were utilising the incident to their advantage by disseminating false information intended to weaken the party.

However, the party has now included both in its list of martyrs, promptly displaying their names on its official website, with the description that “On 7 June, 2015, comrades Subeesh and Shaiju were killed while resisting RSS violence.”

Slamming the party’s decision, Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly VD Satheesan said it was a blatant attempt to glorify violence.

“In 2015, the party conveniently disassociated itself from these individuals. Now, after nearly a decade, they are being hailed as martyrs. This exposes the hypocrisy of the CPI(M),” he said.

The CPI(M) was challenging society and by glorifying those who had planned a violent attack, the party has betrayed Keralites who want a peaceful life, he said.

(With PTI inputs)