KC Mathew, a veteran communist leader and the prime accused in the attack on the Edappally police station in February 1950, which resulted in a witch-hunt of the communists by the police, died at the age of 92. He was ailing and undergoing treatment for nearly a month. Born into a well-to-do family at North Paravur in 1924, Mathew graduated from UC College in Aluva and was drawn to the communist ideals right from the college days.
Did You Know?
The Communist Party was banned in Kerala and its leaders went into hiding. Post the BT Ranadive thesis advocating a hard-line position at the party congress in Calcutta in 1948, there was an all-India railway strike which the party chose to support. At Aluva, the police arrested two comrades, N.K. Madhavan and Varadutty on suspicion of being communists. While they were kept in custody at the Edappally police station, the party called an impromptu meeting at Ponekkara chaired by Mathew where it was decided to attack the station to free them.
A month after the attack, in which two policemen were killed and the detainees could not be set free, the police nabbed Mr. Lawrence and Mathew. While they were sentenced to life, the first communist government in Kerala released them from jail treating them as political prisoners.