It has been 12 days since the general secretary of the BJP Kerala unit K Surendran is in jail. He was taken into custody by the Kerala Police at Nilakkal, the base camp of the Sabarimala pilgrim centre and subsequently arrested on the charges of obstructing the police in the duty. The only crime he committed was to go for the Sabarimala pilgrimage.
The CPI(M)-led government in Kerala saw this as a chance to stifle the career of a rising BJP leader in the state. He has been the staunchest critics of the CPM and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
It was on February 12, 2016, the notorious Kannur district committee secretary of the CPI(M) P Jayarajan, surrendered before the magistrate after the CBI chargesheeted him for conspiring the murder of the RSS leader Kathirur Manoj. From the day of the surrender, P Jayarajan took shelter in various hospitals during his one-month judicial custody citing cardiac ailments.
He was booked by the CBI for conspiracy under Section 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and made him, the 25th accused in the murder of Manoj. The CBI claimed, Jayarajan was the brain behind the killing.
After getting bail from the court the CPI(M) and its Kannur lobby were conspiring to nail any of the BJP state leaders in false cases. The Sabarimala became a perfect pretext for them as they were able to grill the most firebrand political leader in Kerala K Surendran. They charged him with 120B, and other criminal cases regarding the violence took place in Chithira festival at Sabarimala on 6th of November. He went to the shrine to perform an offering which included a Day’s puja.
The government was sure that he will get bail in the case, so they slapped more anonymous cases on him, starting from an auto rickshaw accident to some random suicide from different parts of the state. When the cases did not stand the judicial scrutiny, the police clarified it as a clerical mistake. There are more than 11 cases against him and some have remote association with him. The police say that they are acting on the instruction of the CPI(M) state committee office.
The police reopened all the cases registered against him and issued the warrant in each of them, thus getting bail will be impossible. The police made him travel from south to north of Kerala twice to produce him in respective courts. They denied him medical care, and proper rest, and even tried to keep him away from the family. They didn’t allow him to talk to the media and Surendran had to write a note and give it to one of his party colleagues to issue to the press. Some suspect the party wants to annihilate him in jail.
While taking him to the Central Jail, Surendran made it clear that he will neither act as a heart patient nor admit to any hospital like what P Jayarajan did 2 years ago. I was jailed for protecting the tradition in Sabarimala, and I will never take a step backwards from the cause, said Surendran.
The CPI(M) knows they will not get any further chance to humiliate BJP and Surendran as the high court of Kerala is coming down heavily on the police and the Devaswam administration on a day to day basis. When the top state leaders of the CPI(M) were accused of murder cases in Kannur district no BJP leader was framed in any clashes. P Jayarajan was earlier arrested for the murder of Ariyil Shukoor a Muslim League worker in 2012.
The CPI(M) and police think that they can break the will power of Surendran and make BJP politically weak with this. Given the mass support and sympathy one can easily say he will emerge stronger.