‘Kerala to seek CBI probe on Marad communal massacre’

November 16th, 2008 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Kannur (Kerala) Nov 16 (IANS) Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan Sunday said the state government will again ask the central government to announce a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Marad communal massacre in which 14 people were killed. Marad, a coastal village in Kozhikode district, witnessed communal massacres in 2002 and 2003 in which 14 people were killed.

In the first massacre in 2002, six people lost their lives and the next year, eight people were killed.

All but one of the 137 accused in the Marad massacre are out on bail.

Addressing a function in Kannur Press Club, Balakrishnan spoke on the sensitive Marad issue and said that the central government had rejected a CBI probe on three occasions.

“We will again demand from the Centre a CBI probe and the Congress party here and the Centre have to give the answers on why the demand for a CBI probe was not given the nod,” said Balakrishnan.

The A.K. Antony government in 2003, instead of going for a CBI probe, appointed district judge Thomas P. Joseph to conduct a judicial investigation.

On Feb 20, 2006, Joseph submitted his report to then chief minister Oommen Chandy who did not place it in the assembly on technical grounds.

Balakrishnan placed the report in the Kerala assembly in September 2006.

Balakrishnan after placing the report then told reporters then that the report says the police does not bring out the entire conspiracy behind the massacre - the role of extremist organisations, large-scale flow of money and accumulation of explosives.

“So the commission has demanded a CBI investigation into all these and taking this into account we have asked the Centre to initiate the probe,” said Balakrishnan.

The report also says both Antony and then industries minister and top Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader P.K. Kunhalikutty did not want a CBI probe.

Chandy told IANS that the manner in which the Antony government handled the issue after the second bout of killings in 2003 by seeing that no retaliation took place is commendable.

“At the moment, I prefer not to react to what Balakrishnan said today (Sunday),” said Chandy.

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