A mob barged into the house of Sivaprasad, the Vellarada area secretary of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), at Anavoor late on Tuesday night and hacked to death his 52-year-old father, Narayanan Nair. Sivaprasad and his brother Gopakumar, a Communist Party of India (Marxist) activist, and their mother Girija too were injured in the attack.

The police said the attack was suspected to be masterminded by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activists in retaliation for an alleged attack on a bus driver, a Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh member, by SFI activists earlier in the day.

The reaction to the murder took violent proportions while the body of Narayanan Nair was being taken to his residence from the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital (MCH), with at least four houses being attacked and two being partially set on fire. The situation remained tense even late on Wednesday and the police have declared Section 144 in the region till November 8.

Narayanan Nair, a store keeper with the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, had opened the door on hearing a knock around 11 p.m. Around 30 persons, armed with swords and iron rods, are said to have barged into the house and attacked him. Sivaprasad and Gopakumar, who ran to their father’s rescue, too were hacked, with Gopakumar sustaining a head injury. Their mother too was attacked and a neighbour, Vipin Kumar, who rushed into the house hearing the commotion, sustained minor injuries. Though Narayanan Nair was rushed to hospital, he died soon.

The police said Sivaprasad, a degree student of a college in Kattakada, was part of an SFI protest which blocked a bus that was driven by a BMS activist, who was allegedly roughed up during the protest. Earlier too there were skirmishes between the two political organisations in the recent past, which are said to have fuelled Tuesday night’s attack.

The CPI(M) observed a hartal in the region on Wednesday while the SFI also held protests at Vellarada. A huge posse of police led by Neyyattinkara Deputy Superintendent of Police Y.R. Rustom is manning the area.

The body of Narayanan Nair was handed over to relatives after autopsy at the MCH, and the funeral was conducted later in the day.

The employees of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation observed a ‘black day’ and struck work on Wednesday in protest against the killing. Narayanan Nair had more than 30 years of work experience here. He was also the State council member of the Kerala Municipal and Staff Union. His body was kept for the public to pay homage in front of the Corporation office in the afternoon.