Noted Malayalam poet Kureepuzha Sreekumar was attacked and threatened by a group of RSS activists on Monday late evening in Kollam. So far, six of them have been taken into custody, including a panchayat member of BJP.
The RSS activists targeted Sreekumar when he was about to leave the venue of a meeting which was organized by Kairali library at Kottukkal in Kollam district. During his speech in the meeting, the poet criticized Hindutva forces and he mentioned the ongoing protest by the people of Vadayambady near Kochi against what has been described by Dalits as a "caste wall".
The 62-year old poet confirmed that he was waylaid by the group of men, who were abusing him. However, the poet managed to get away in a car after some people came to his rescue.
The arrests took place on Monday morning after the poet had lodged a complaint with the police. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office has also directed the police to take actions and launch a thorough probe into the matter.
The issue was raised in the Kerala Assembly on Tuesday. A group of 15 RSS/BJP workers led by a Panchayat member Dipu was behind the incident, said Vijayan while replying to the submission on the matter by the CPI MLA Mullakkara Ratnakaran.
Condemning the fascist attack on the poet, the chief minister informed the assembly that six out of 15 have been taken into custody and they would be produced in the court on Tuesday.
Talking about the recent attacks and threatening of renowned writer MT Vasudevan Nair and filmmaker Kamal by extremist forces, the CM said that such incidents would be dealt with sternly and will not be allowed to repeat.
The attacks on freedom of expression by the intolerant communal forces in the country have been increasing for the past few years and MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Gauri Lankesh have been the victims of such intolerance.
“Kerala, which stands out as an island of hope amidst the attacks over voices of dissents taking place elsewhere in the country, will act necessarily to shield the freedom of expression,” the chief minister said.