Kerala CPM under fire

published on May 5, 2012

Rebel leader hacked to death
VR Jayaraj | Kochi – Daily Pioneer

The brutal murder of CPI(M) renegade and Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader TP Chandrasekharan (52) of Onchiyam in Kerala’s Kozhikode district late Friday night has put the Marxist party, which has a long history of pursuing violent methods in the Malabar region, especially in Kozhikode and Kannur districts, in a political trap.

Chandrasekharan was hacked to death by a group of killers at Vallikkad near Vadakara in Kozhikode at about 10.15 pm Friday when he was returning home alone on a motorcycle. The killers, who came in a Toyota Innova car, hacked him after hurling bombs to scare away the people who tried to prevent the attack.

The attack on Chandrasekharan was so brutal that his face had become unidentifiable. Onchiyam, known for its history of communist struggles, has been witnessing Marxist violence ever since Chandrasekharan and loyalists left the CPI(M) to form the RMP in 2008. The police said that the killers had hacked Chandrasekharan in the head, face and arms at least 50 times.

The Congress-led ruling UDF which blamed the CPI(M) for the murder of the rebel leader observed a State-wide dawn-to-dusk shutdown in protest against the incident. A special investigation team of the Kerala Police launched a full-fledged probe into the killing even as the CPI(M) denied any role in the murder of Chandrasekharan.

The murder brought immense political pressure on the CPI(M) especially in the context of the police’s recent finding that the CPI(M) was even annihilating its political enemies after holding “trials” in party courts as it had happened in the killing of Muslim League activist Abdul Shukoor (21) of Pattuvam  in Kannur on February 20.

“As Chief Minister, I don’t want to say anything about those involved in the killing but everyone has a fair idea of who could be behind this brutality,” said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in obvious reference to the CPI(M) while State Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the murder was committed with the knowledge of the State leadership of the CPI(M).

“The murder and subsequent allegations are part of a huge conspiracy aimed at hunting our party down,” said State CPI(M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday. “It seems that professional killers hired by the UDF are behind the murder,” he said. Immediately after the incident, Kozhikode district CPI(M) chief TP Ramakrishnan denied any party involvement in the killing.

Even as the CPI(M) continued to claim innocence, the police said the accused were people with CPI(M) connections. Two of the seven accused were people with history of CPI(M)-related criminal cases, sources said. Five persons had already been taken into custody and the police had by Saturday noon seized the Innova car used by the killers.

The main accused was one Payappadachi Rafeeq of Pallur, reportedly a hired assassin. His associates were also said to be goondas on hire. Sources said that Rafeeq was the main accused in a case relating to the kidnapping of an NRI in Kannur sometime ago.

State BJP president V Muraleedharan said that the indications were that the CPI(M) could have been behind the murder of Chandrasekharan. However, he criticized the Congress-led UDF for trying to cash in on the incident politically instead of bringing out the truth through an unbiased investigation.

In an alleged bid to derive maximum political mileage out of the incident, a host of top UDF leaders converged on Kozhikode on Saturday to pay homage to Chandrasekharan. Chief Minister Chandy cut short his Delhi visit to be present in Kozhikode. State Congress chief Chennithala, several State Ministers, UDF MPs and other leaders visited Kozhikode.

The murder sparked off instant violent responses all over the Onchiyam area. At least 25 houses of CPI(M) activists and leaders came under attack in Mozhipra, Kunnummakkara, Orkatteri and other places and several vehicles also came under attack and arson. However, the police brought the situation under control before dawn Saturday.

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