Congress spokesperson Shama Mohammed’s reaction to the murder of engineering student and SFI activist Dheeraj Rajendran has drawn flak from several quarters, after she responded to a news tweet about the death by saying it was “Karma”.
Many called the tweet “disgusting” and “sick”. Shama posted the tweet on Monday, 10 January, and despite receiving flak, she has not acknowledged it or removed the tweet. There hasn’t been a reaction from the Congress either.
What Had Happened?
Dheeraj was stabbed and killed by Nikhil Paily, a local leader of the Youth Congress. Nikhil and another worker Jerin Jijo were arrested on Tuesday, 11 January. Two other students, Abjijith and Amal, were also seriously injured in the attack. In the FIR, the police have mentioned that the murder took place due to political rivalry.
Though Youth Congress members have been arrested for the murder, the Congress has tried to place the blame on the Left. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee chief K Sudhakaran on Wednesday, 12 January, slammed the Students Federation of India, saying it had turned campuses in the state into a ground for violence and "Dheeraj's killing was a martyrdom that was asked for" by it.
"CPI(M) has intentionally grabbed this martyrdom. They are not sad, but happy about it. This death is a result of violence created by CPI(M) and SFI,” he said.
He had hit out at the ruling CPI(M) in the state and alleged that the party was more keen to buy land and construct a memorial for Dheeraj than mourn his death. Attacking the Left party, he alleged that it had celebrated the death by organising 'Thiruvathirakali’.
He accused the CPI(M)'s student and youth outfits of not permitting the opposition student organisations, including the Kerala Students Union (Congress student outfit-KSU), to function in the professional college campuses in the state. He also alleged that goondas from outside the campus had made the Engineering College hostel their den and targeted the KSU workers who were preparing for the campus election.
Condemning Sudhakaran's remarks, the SFI said Sudhakaran will go to any extent to justify the killing of its activists by Youth Congress and KSU workers.
The Congress leader alleged there has been widespread violence across the state under the guise of protest and several KSU and Youth Congress activists were being subjected to assault in the name of the Idukki incident.
"The party offices and buildings of the Congress are attacked but the police are remaining as mute spectators," the Congress veteran further alleged.
"When the news about Dheeraj's death came out, what the Communist party people in my place (Kannur) did first was to purchase and register eight cents of land to construct a memorial for him. They went to buy the land at a time when they should have mourned his death. They (CPI-M) celebrated by organising Thiruvathirakali," he alleged.
(Published in arrangement with The News Minute)