‘Murder-monger’ Marxist remains defiant

published on June 3, 2012

CPI(M)’s Idukki district secretary MM Mani, against whom the Kerala Police have registered a case in relation to three murders that took place three decades ago after his stunning disclosure on May 26 that Marxists used to ruthlessly kill its political enemies, is unperturbed by the legal proceedings, criticisms and a possible disciplinary action in the party against him.

“The cases against me and my party colleagues are politically motivated. We will deal with them legally and politically,” Mani said on Sunday afternoon after the meetings of the district committee and secretariat which reportedly passed resolutions stating that no disciplinary action should be taken against Mani in the name of his controversial speech.

Mani’s uncompromising posture with regard to his shocking disclosure coincided with the justification offered for him and his speech by State CPI(M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. In his reply to a letter from Mahasweta Devi criticizing Mani, he said that the Idukki leader with his rustic character was of the habit of speaking in a straight-forward manner.

“Even the FIR filed against me is illegal,” Mani said. “They have taken a case under Section 302 of the IPC against me in the name of a speech. From when did public speeches become murders?” Mani, who had gone into hiding on May 28 after his speech became a controversy in the State and the police began searching for him after initiating the legal case, said.

In his speech at Thodupuzha, Idukki on May 26, Mani had said that the Marxist party used to kill its political adversaries ruthlessly. He specifically referred to three murders that took place in Idukki 30 years back, saying, “We prepared a list of 13. But we could not get them all. The first was shot dead, the second was beaten to death and the third was stabbed to death.”

Earlier on Sunday, Mani, coming out from a week-long hiding, said that he was not planning to step down as Idukki district secretary over the speech. “Nobody should hope to finish me off in the name of a public speech I made,” Mani said even as sources in the CPI(M)’s central leadership reiterated that action against him was unavoidable.

A special investigation team of the Kerala Police, constituted to re-investigate the four murders of 1982-83 Mani had referred to in his speech, has asked him to appear for questioning on Wednesday. “We haven’t decided whether to appear before them. It would depend on what the lawyers say,” said Mani, CPI(M)’s Idukki district chief for the past 25 years.

Stating that the Idukki district unit of the party was with him in the issue of his speech, he said the party had decided to take out a protest march on June 12 in which “thousands of party workers will participate”, to the DySP office in Thodupuzha where the SIT’s office was situated demanding withdrawal of the case against him.

Asked whether any proposal for his removal as Idukki district secretary had come up at the meetings of the district committee and secretariat, Mani said the only the State committee, in which he was a member, had the authority to even discuss it. He claimed that the central leadership had not disowned him but had only pointed out the mistakes in his speech.

Mani refuted the charge that he had gone into hiding after rumours spread that he could be arrested. “I hadn’t been hiding. I was at home but chose not to appear before the media in order to avoid further controversies,” he said. Pinarayi had on Saturday said that reports on Mani going underground were part of a malicious campaign against the CPI(M).

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