Kerala CPI-M leader held for ex-colleague’s murder (Lead)

June 29th, 2012 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode (Kerala), June 29 (IANS) Marxist leader P. Mohanan was arrested Friday for his alleged involvement in the murder of former party colleague T.P. Chandrasekharan, sparking violence by his supporters, police said. Tne CPI-M has called for a shutdown here.

In a major embarrassment to Kerala’s main opposition party, Mohanan, husband of firebrand CPI-M legislator K.K. Lathika, was taken into custody after police overtook his car and stopped it. He was travelling with party colleagues.

Mohanan is a senior leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and also member of the Kozhikode district CPI-M committee.

Charged with murder and criminal conspiracy, Mohanan was brought before a local court in Badagara which sent him to seven days’ police custody.

Police had a tough time as more than 200 CPI-M supporters gathered in front of the court and started throwing slippers, stones and crackers into the court compound.

Police used tear gas and batons to disperse the party workers who turned violent and even attacked the police vehicles and the media persons who had come to cover the event.

With Mohanan’s arrest, the number of those in custody in the brutal murder of Chandrasekharan has crossed 50. Mohanan’s arrest was on the cards since the alleged mastermind of the murder, P.K. Kunhanandan, surrendered before a court near here last week.

Chandrasekharan, 51, a popular local leader in Onchiyam, was brutally killed on May 4 while returning home on his motorcycle. He was hacked 51 times by a group of assailants who came in an Innova car, according to police.

The CPI-M, which has denied any role in the killing, termed it a vendetta by the Congress-led government.

The entire investigation was proceeding like a pre-written script of the present Congress-led government, CPI-M legislator and Mohanan’s wife Lathika alleged while talking to reporters.

“The government wants to malign our party,” she said, adding that her husband was innocent.

CPI-M Kozhikode district secretary T.P. Ramakrishnan questioned the manner in which Mohanan was arrested.

“Police did not even give a notice to him,” he said.

Former minister Elamaram Kareem announced a shutdown in Kozhikode district Saturday to protest Mohanan’s arrest.

“Tomorrow (Saturday), we have decided to protest by calling a shutdown in this district from dawn to dusk, to protest the manner in which the government is going ahead in this case. We will conduct protest meetings across the district,” said Kareem, the CPI-M legislator from the district.

State Home Minister T. Radhakrishnan, however, told reporters after Mohanan’s arrest that the government had no role to play in the investigation.

“That’s the job of the police. We give neither direction nor advice on how the case should be handled,” he said.

K.K. Rema, Chandrasekharan’s wife, said: “His custody was just a matter of time… a few more will soon be taken into custody.”

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