Maradu Massacre - Who is afraid of CBI Probe?
Marad massacre: Call for CBI probe intensifies
VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer
Demands from various quarters intensified for a CBI probe into the conspiracy behind the May 2, 2003 massacre at Marad in Kozhikode district in which eight Hindus were killed following the Kerala High Court’s observation the other day that there had been “deep conspiracy” behind the incident and that the police had failed in investigating it effectively.
Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan accused Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of trying to sabotage the Marad massacre case even as The BJP and Hindu Aikya Vedi renewed their call for CBI probe into the massacre in the context of the High Court’s observations. CPI(M)’s State secretariat member Elamaram Kareem also called for a probe by the Central agency.
Achuthanandan charged that Chandy, heading the Government of Congress-led UDF coalition in which the Muslim League is second biggest constituent, had intervened in the Marad massacre case with the intention of sabotaging it in the same way he had allegedly derailed the probes into the Palm oil import scam and the ice cream parlour sex abuse scandal.
There were allegations that the Congress-led Government in the Centre (since 2004) had been refusing to clear a CBI probe into the massacre to avert revelation of the role of political parties, especially the Muslim League in it. The Judicial Commission which probed the massacre had found that certain Muslim League leaders had knowledge of the plot.
The Kerala BJP wanted the Government to immediately order a CBI probe into the massacre in the light of the High Court’s observations on conspiracy. State BJP president V Muraleedharan wanted initiation of a case against senior Muslim League leader MC Mayin Haji who, according to the Judicial Commission, had prior knowledge of the plan for the massacre.
“Haji should be booked under Section 118 of the IPC for concealing design for the massacre even after coming to know of it. It is strange that the Government is refusing to do this,” said Muraleedharan, adding that the BJP would deal with the case legally and politically if desired action was not taken in the matter.
While sentencing to life imprisonment 24 of the 76 acquitted earlier by the trial court, the High Court had on Thursday observed that there had been a “deep conspiracy” behind the massacre and that the Crime Branch could have deliberately decided not to probe the conspiracy angle. It said that there should be a thorough probe to bring out the conspiracy.
In the 600-page judgement on the several appeals that came before it, the High Court agreed with the finding of the Judicial Commission that there had been elaborate planning behind the massacre but the Crime Branch had not gone after that. The Special Marad Court had clearly recorded in January, 2009 that the Prosecution had failed in proving the conspiracy.
In a nightly attack on May 2, 2003, eight Hindu fishermen were hacked to death at the Marad fishing village near Beypore harbor in Kozhikode district. A Muslim also had lost life in the incident. Despite the obvious planning, the incident was described as a reaction to the Marad 1 riots of January 2-3, 2002 in which five persons were killed.
The trial court had on December 27, 2008 convicted 63 of the total 139 accused and on January 15, 2009 sentenced 62 of them to life imprisonment while awarding five-year jail term to one. On Thursday, the High Court, while considering the appeals from the Prosecution, relatives of victims and the convicts themselves, sentenced 24 more to life imprisonment.