4:21 am - Saturday July 20, 2019

Murder Accused Presents Turban to Rajnath Singh in Kerala, Sparks Row

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM A controversy has erupted over an activist of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS and accused in a murder case placing a turban on the head of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to Thiruvananthapuram last week.The incident, which has also raised security issues, happened when Mr Singh visited the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple last Saturday.

When the Minister came out of the shrine after prayers, RSS activist Santhosh approached Mr Singh and placed on his head a turban with the consent of local BJP leaders and security guards.

Mr Santhosh is the prime accused in the case related to the murder of Vishnu, an activist of the Democratic Youth Federation of India activist in 2008 in the city. He is now out on bail.

With the incident triggering a controversy, state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala today said it was a serious matter but there was no security breach on the part of the Kerala Police as the the National Security Guard was in charge of Mr Singh’s security.

“Of course, this is a serious incident. But Kerala Police had no role in it as Mr Singh is a person under NSG security,” Chennithala told reporters at Kottayam.

As local media beamed the visuals of Santhosh placing the turban on Singh, Communist Party of India Member of Legislative Assembly V Sivankutty demanded an inquiry and sought an explanation from both the Congress-led United Democratic Front government and the state unit of the BJP.

BJP district president S Suresh, however, claimed that the CPI(M) was stoking unnecessary controversy “out of desperation” over the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the murder of RSS activist Elamthotathil Manoj in Kannur.

Mr Singh had on Friday visited the home of Mr Manoj at Kathirur in Kannur and assured the RSS-BJP leadership of a CBI probe in the case.

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