The Kerala police has arrested an activist of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) who is the prime accused in the attack on Sasikumar, a CPI(M) activist and newspaper agent, in Kattakkada, Thiruvananthapuram.
CCTV visuals which showed two motorcycle-born people trying to hack Sasikumar, who was travelling in a motorcycle, had gone viral.
40-year old Nawasudeen alias Navas, the SDPI activist who is the prime accused in the case, was arrested by the police on Sunday.
Sasikumar, a member of the CPI(M)'s Thoongampara branch committee and a distribution agent of the Deshabhimani newspaper, was on his way to distribute newspapers in Kattakkada on November 19 morning when he was attacked.
In the video, one of the assailants is seen attacking Sasikumar with a weapon and chasing him. Sasikumar suffered injuries on his head and shoulder, and was admitted at first to a private hospital, and later at the General Hospital, Neyyattinkara. The assault was preceded by attacks on the houses of A Saju, the District Secretary of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), and A Rahim, president of the Uzhamalakkal panchayat on November 17.
The police later found that Sasikumar had been trailed by four SDPI workers on two motorcycles, said a report in The Hindu. Two of them – Al Ameen and Arshad – were arrested two days after the incident. The police said that Nawas and Arshad were also involved in the attacks on the houses of Saju and Rahim.
During efforts to recover the weapons used to attack Sasikumar, the police found a cache of weapons from the house of S Shamnad, another SDPI activist who is now absconding. Several swords, ten iron rods, pipes and thinner iron rods were recovered from Shamnad's house.
SDPI is the political party affiliated to the Popular Front of India (PFI), an Islamist fundamentalist outfit which earned notoriety for chopping off the hand of college lecturer TJ Joseph at Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district on 4 July 2010. Thirteen PFI activists were convicted by the court in the case – 10 of them were sentenced to 8 years in jail and the rest were sentenced to two years in jail.