Murder cases continue to haunt CPI-M

Thiruvananthapuram, July 20 (IANS) With many murder cases being filed against the Kerala CPI-M in 2012, this year may not bode too well either for the main opposition party with another murder case being reopened by the government.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Friday night ordered the reopening of a 1999 murder case in which five accused - all CPI-M activists - were sentenced to death by a Kannur court. The case has now been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

In 1999, Yuva Morcha leader K.T. Jayakrishnan was brutally murdered at a school in CPI-M dominated Kannur district while he was teaching his students.

When the Kerala High Court upheld the lower court's verdict, the Supreme Court acquitted four accused and commuted the death sentence of Pradeepan into life imprisonment.

During the previous CPI-M government's tenure (2006-2011), Pradeepan got a remission in his sentence. He is now a top party leader in his hometown Tellichery in Kannur district.

But things took a new turn in June last year when T.K. Rajeesh, a prime accused in the T.P. Chandrasekheran murder case that took place in May 2012 in Kozhikode, revealed that barring one who was sentenced in the Jayakrishnan murder case, the others were not involved and they were framed by the CPI-M.

Chandrasekheran, who was ousted in 2008 by the CPI-M after he became the proverbial thorn in the side of the party in Kozhikode district, had then founded the Revolutionary Marxist Party.

As the 51-year-old was returning home near Onchiyam in Kozhikode district, he was hacked 51 times by armed gangsters May 4, 2012.

Police arrested 76 people, including state, district and local leaders of the CPI-M, and the husband of a party legislator.

Following Rajeesh's claims, the BJP and Jayakrishnan's mother demanded a CBI probe into the murder. However, the Chandy government ordered Crime Branch to investigate.

The probe was handed over to the CBI on a recommendation by the director general of prosecution.

"We welcome the decision of the Kerala government to hand over the case to the CBI," said state BJP president V. Muraleedharan.

Also in 2012, the Chandy government reopened four murder cases in Idukki district after then district secretary of the CPI-M, M.M. Moni, blurted out in a speech that the party has no qualms about eliminating their rivals. He went on to list four cases where CPI-M cadres had murdered four Congress activists in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Moni was arrested but is out on bail.

In another case, CPI-M legislator T.V. Rajesh and former legislator P.Jayarajan, accused in the Muslim League activist Abdul Shukoor murder case that took place at Kannur in February last year, are out on bail.

Shukoor, 21, of Ariyil in Kannur, was hacked to death allegedly by CPI-M cadres at Keezhara Feb 20, 2012, as an act of vendetta for an attack earlier the same day by Muslim League workers. Shukoor was also involved in the attack on a car in which Rajesh and Jayarajan were travelling.

(Sanu George can be contacted at sanu.g@ians.n)

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