CPM hand, lack of evidence hinder probe in Kannur

via Pioneer News Service | Kannur published on March 11, 2008

As the Thalassery, Panoor and Koothuparamba areas of Kannur witnessed a third day of relative calm after four days of bone-chilling violence in which five RSS-BJP workers and two CPI(M) activists were killed, the police officials posted in the area are groping in the dark as to where to start the investigations. The main impediment in nabbing the actual culprits, some officials revealed in secret, was the non-cooperation from or defiant attitude of influential CPI(M) leaders.

The police have intensified the investigations but political interference was proving to be an impediment, it is said.

There is a huge police contingent in place in Thalassery and adjoining areas to keep peace and an elaborate investigation team of two DySPs, four Circle Inspectors and other officers headed by the Superintendent of Police Sreejith is already in place, but sources in police say that none of these would be helpful in achieving the goal of finding the real culprits.

“In a place like Thalassery and in cases like these, investigation cannot be carried out through mere technical procedures. We need to have local support, which is almost non-existent here. It is a very difficult situation. The local people in several cases are not willing to share information. We know it is a norm in villages, which they call liberated. Those who have any knowledge about such things do not have a feeling that killing is a crime,” said a top official.

He said this was more applicable to villages held by the CPI(M). Even responsible politicians (“I don’t want to name them”) react to the questions from police with contempt, he said. “The attitude is that the police should not do more than what they are asked to do. In such a situation, the reality is that we don’t have anything to do,” he said.

However, the police are now trying to get over their disabilities and have started practical investigations as the situation has come under control. Several low-ranked officials, who are sincere about their duty, are not very confident about the mindset of their superiors, especially people like ADGP Jang Pangi. They think they can reach the bottom with very discreet investigations.

“We don’t have much to start with as there are no evidences. In places like Thalassery and in events like these, material evidences do not mean much. The weapons are usual and the modus operandi is standard. What we need is circumstantial evidences and witness accounts, which, we can be sure, will never be there. All the evidences have been destroyed and the concerned parties, especially the CPI(M), have already convinced the people under their influence about the consequences of cooperating with the police,” said the official.

Several officers complained about the interferences from top officials or directly from district and State leadership of the CPI(M). A former Special Branch officer, who had written several reports favouring the CPI(M) during his stint in Kannur, said the areas of investigations had already been clearly charted and as per that there were more exclusions than inclusions.

“I have sources in the police force. They tell me that they have been told about the people whom they should avoid. The theory is that they need not work hard to catch RSS-BJP culprits but at cost they should target CPI(M) leaders,” he said.

ADGP Jang Pangi has already stated that the investigations would take at least three times. According to sources in the police, this is the maximum time the CPI(M) needs to destroy all evidences of the acts of their men, to create fresh ‘evidences’ and to finalise a ‘consolatory’ list of culprits from their party. “The people could be arrested but they are sure to escape the clutches of the law as there will be no evidences for the simple reason that they had no role in the murders,” said the former SB official.

The police have conducted more than 100 raids at various centres in the region. Fifty-nine people were taken into custody but all have been released on bail. The prohibitory orders passed by the District Collector in Thalassery area will continue till the close of Wednesday.

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