Kerala CPI-M leader held for murder, party calls shutdown (Lead)

August 1st, 2012 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 1 (IANS) Kerala CPI-M leader P. Jayarajan was Wednesday arrested and jailed in connection with the murder of Indian Union Muslim League worker Abdul Shukoor in February. His party has called a state-wide shutdown Thursday.

Jayarajan, a former legislator of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), was arrested in Kannur district after being summoned by police for questioning for the third time.

The Kannur district CPI-M secretary was sent by a court to judicial custody for two weeks and would be lodged in the Kannur jail.

Jayarajan told reporters that he was framed. “The Congress, the Muslim League and the police have all conspired to implicate me,” he said.

Soon after the arrest, angry party activists pelted stones at the police convoy taking Jayarajan to court.

Speaking to reporters here, CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was trying to unsettle the CPI-M by putting its leaders in jail.

“We are not going to be deterred by this. Tomorrow we have called a state-wide shutdown to protest this arrest and we expect all lovers of democracy to support us,” said Vijayan.

Chandy denied that the arrest was linked to politics.

“Police have been given a free hand to investigate the case and they are doing their job according to the law of the land,” Chandy told reporters here.

The state government said that arrangements had been made to prevent untoward incidents during the CPI-M agitation Thursday.

Police charged Jayarajan with failing to do anything despite prior knowledge of the murder conspiracy.

More than two dozen people belonging to the CPI-M and its affiliates have been arrested for the murder of the 21-year-old Shukoor.

According to police, Shukoor was murdered in retaliation for an attack by suspected Muslim League workers on Jayarajan and CPI-M leader T.V. Rajesh in February last year.

The Muslim League is the second biggest constituent of the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front.

CPI-M politburo member and legislator Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said: “… this is not the first time that our party leaders are being implicated. We will deal with this politically and legally because we know there is no truth in this case against Jayarajan.”

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