CPI-M jittery as police dig deeper into murder case (Kerala Newsletter)

May 26th, 2012 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, May 26 (IANS) The CPI-M top brass in Kerala is getting nervous with the police closing in on the party’s lower and middle-level leaders in the murder case of former party leader T.P. Chandrasekharan.

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

Soon after the incident, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the party has no hand in the murder.

But not wanting to let go of the chance to hit back at the opposition Marxists, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who heads a Congress-led United Democratic Front government, handed over the investigation to police officer Vinson M. Paul, known for his clean image.

Till May 25, 18 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the case. Eight of the accused are lower and middle-level CPI-M members. These include C.H. Ashokan, former general secretary of the CPI-M-backed Non-Gazetted Officers’ Union.

Finding it difficult to defend the CPI-M after these arrests, state party secretary Vijayan turned his ire towards the media reporting the case. He said the “right-wing media” should present only the truth and not “white lies”.

“For some days, we are seeing reports of what those arrested (people) are saying. Is this not strange because this happens behind closed doors? We are surprised that none of the media (organisations) are coming out with reports of how the arrested are being subjected to third-degree torture methods to come out with statements, which have already been prepared by the probe team,” he said.

But Home Minister T. Radhakrishnan denied that the police were torturing those in custody.

“Things are going in the right direction. Police have not resorted to any third-degree methods of torture, as alleged by the CPI-M. There is no need for doing it that way. We will bring out the entire conspiracy,” he said.

But what has come as a shock to CPI-M leaders is the manner in which senior party leader V.S. Achuthanandan has reacted to the allegations of his party colleagues against the probe.

“If anyone has any issues regarding the probe, they should approach the court rather than protesting,” the former chief minister said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of CPI-M workers Saturday marched towards the office of the superintendent of police in Badagara, shouting anti-government slogans and saying that the police were biased.

More than 750 police personnel were deployed to keep things under control as intelligence reports stated that the march could turn violent.

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

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