Wednesday, May 10, 2006 Thiruvananthapuram:
RSS functionary killed, hartal today , VHP blames religious fundamentalist outfits
A top district functionary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was hacked to death by an armed gang at Kilimanoor in the early hours of Tuesday. The police identified the deceased as N. Sunil Kumar (36), RSS jilla seva pramukh and one of the accused in the attack on the 60-year-old United States national and Protestant missionary Joseph Cooper, near Koppam Harijan colony in January 2003. Sunil Kumar also served as the district secretary of the Hindu Aikya Vedi.
The RSS and the Hindu Aikya Vedi have called for a 12-hour hartal from 6 a.m. in the district in protest against the murder. In a press release here, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad said certain religious fundamentalist outfits were behind the murder.
Superintendent of Police, Rural, S. Gopinath said the police were yet to establish the motive for the crime or the identity of the attackers. According to police, Sunil Kumar, an agent of Janmabhoomi newspaper, was hacked to death by a seven-member armed gang at Mahadevashwaram Temple junction around 5.45 p.m. He was packing the day's newspapers on the verandah of a shop when the assailants arrived in a white Toyota Qualis van. The assailants were wearing masks and carrying swords.
Anil Kumar started running when he saw the gang members. The police said the gang chased Anil for a short distance and hacked him down. Anil sustained grievous injuries on his head, arms and legs. Local people lifted the seriously injured RSS worker from the middle of the road in front of the Kilimanoor Bharath Petroleum outlet and took him to Karette junction in an autorickshaw. From there he was taken by car to the Medical College Hospital.
The police said Anil was dead by the time he was brought to the hospital. There were nearly 25 cuts on his body. Anil's right arm was severed in the attack.
Five swords, suspected to have been used for the murder, were later found abandoned on the road at Pappalapangal Thadom. The police suspect that the registration number of the vehicle used by the assailants (KL 01 V 1128) to be false. An official said Sunil Kumar owned an upholstery shop in Kilimanoor. "He must have political opponents because of his RSS leanings. But to the best of our knowledge, Sunil Kumar had no business or personal rivalry", an official. Senior police officials were camping in Kilimanoor.
The body of Sunil Kumar was taken to his native place at Koppam after post-mortem examination. Sunil Kumar is survived by his wife, Sulabha and sons, Sreejith and Sreehari.
RSS activist killed at Killimanoor
09 May 2006 # PTI
Thiruvananthapuram: A RSS activist was hacked to death by seven persons at Killimanoor in Thiruvanathapuram district today, police said.
Police said the group, who came in a car, waylaid Hindu Aikeya Vedi district secretary Sunil Kumar and attacked him. Sunilkumar was rushed to Medical College Hospital where he succumbed to injuries, police said.
In protest against the killing, the Hindu Aikeya Vedi has called for a hartal in Thiruvananthapuram district tomorrow.
Hindu Aikeya Vedi District President G Mohankumar alleged that activists of the fundamentalist NDF were behind the attack.
Newspapers, milk, medical stores, ambulances have been exempted from the hartal, he said.
NDF denies role
Thiruvananthapuram, 9 May 2006, Thejas News Paper
The divisional covener of NDF, Mr. Karamana Saleem today denied Hindu Aikeya Vedi allegations and said his organization don't had any disputes with RSS in Kilimanoor area. He condemned the act of a TV channel and some evening news papers in dragging NDF to this issue.
More on attack on Pastor Joseph Cooper
American Missionary Attacked in Southern India
International Christian Concern Press Release — January 16, 2003
Machete Attack on American Alarms Local Christians
Hindu militants threaten to expel evangelists, stop conversions.By Joshua Newton in Kochi, India, Christianity Today, 02/18/2003
Joint Fact-Finding Probe on RSS attack on Christian Missionaries in Kerala
People's Watch" (Tamil Nadu) and CHRO (Kerala)